The lamb market
Lamb yardings reduced across MLA’s NLRS reported markets by 14%.
The yarding at Naracoorte was back by 16% to just under 2,000 head while the SA LE yarded 14% fewer lambs with some 10,000 head offered.
Conditions on the ground continue to be tough after a string of drier than average winter months.
Increasing grain prices are deterring producers from supplementary feeding unless unavoidable.
There were over 4,000 new season lambs presented and these were evenly spread across weight ranges.
Lamb quality continues to be on the dip with condition dropping off each week.
Old lambs were mostly of plain quality while a sturdier supply of young lambs was mostly of good quality despite the unfavourable conditions.
Despite the reduced supply, buyer competition was weaker as only a small group attended Naracoorte and general interest dropped off.
Restockers were particularly quiet as the restocker lamb indicator slipped $8 to $48/head.
Processors were also more selective with purchases, causing the Merino lamb indicator to drop 26¢ to 329¢/kg cwt.
Light and trade lambs were more resilient, only slipping 4¢ to 5¢ to be 360¢ and 414¢/kg cwt respectively.
Heavy lambs met the greatest demand and managed to hold firm at 410¢/kg cwt.
Sheep numbers went against those of lamb as numbers increased 29%.
This was mostly attributed to the SA LE which yarded 48% more sheep while Naracoorte decreased by 22%.
Quality was generally good however sold to weaker demand from the usual following of buyers.
The mutton indicator fell back 15¢ to 191¢/kg cwt.
Trade lambs hold against price retreat
Light young Merino lambs sold for an average 317¢ while crossbred lambs sold to a mixed trend and averaged between 369¢ and 480¢/kg cwt.
Those to feeders sold around $78 or $2/head lower.
Trade weight 3 scores were 4¢ dearer and on average between 433¢ and 452¢/kg cwt.
The 4 scores reduced by 12¢ to 22¢ and averaged near to 362¢/kg cwt.
The heavy 3 score young lambs returned 453¢ while the 4 scores were reduced by 15¢ to 433¢/kg cwt.
The old lamb yarding saw the light 2 score Merino’s down 1¢ to 306¢ while the 3 score crossbreds reduced 47¢ to 330¢/kg cwt.
Trade weight 4 score lambs reduced 38¢ to 414¢/kg cwt.
The trade 3 score Merino lambs fell 26¢ to 323¢/kg cwt.
Heavy 4 score crossbreds were 16¢ lower to average 392¢/kg cwt.
Extra heavy 4 score lambs made 373¢ to be 17¢/kg cwt cheaper.