BENDIGO SHEEP AND LAMB SALE
Monday, September 24 There was an influx of nearly 28 000 lambs and 20 000 sheep as the season deteriorates quickly across the region. It was the biggest one-day prime market Bendigo has held in nearly a decade.
Quality was mixed, with drier-skinned young lambs under 20 kg cwt making up the bulk of the offering. All the regular buyers attended but demand was noticeably weaker, with some buyers not operating or only purchasing limited numbers.
Prices were $10 to $20 cheaper across most weights and grades, with some pens showing corrections of up to $30/head on a week ago.
The supply of quality heavy young lambs was limited but this couldn’t prevent price falls and it took a very good lamb weighing over 24 kg cwt to make above $200/head.
The sale reached a top of $221 for a small pen-lot of extra-heavy new-season lambs estimated at 28 kg cwt.
The main run of trade-weight young lambs, 22-24 kg cwt, sold from $163 to $197 to average between $180 and $185/head. The next size down, 20-22 kg cwt, made from $139 to $172 to average around $150 to $155/head.
The best young lambs were estimated at 740¢ to 760¢ cwt, with plainer types drifting down to 700¢/kg in an erratic sale.
Lightweight lambs weighing less than 20 kg cwt all trended below 700¢ to be returning estimated averages of 640¢ to 680¢c/kg to both processors and restockers.
There was store buyer activity from Tasmania, Ballarat, Shepparton, Yarrawonga and the Bendigo area, with decent-sized lambs to the paddock costing $100 to $128/head.
Specialist Ballarat finishers paid to $151 for store lambs with a lot more size and weight.
The smallest and immature young lambs to restockers sold from $31 to $86 to average $65/head.
The line-up of old-season lambs was very plain as final drafts are sold, and there were some sharp price corrections.
All weights and grades of mutton were represented as the dry season forces sheep to be culled. Prices fell by $10 to $20/head and more in places during an erratic market.
There was a noticeable price difference between better quality sheep with weight and reasonable fat cover compared to very plain and drought-affected ewes, which were discounted.
Early in the market there were still some sales of good Merino mutton above 500¢ cwt, before the market lost momentum to record averages of 420¢ to 460¢/kg over the main runs of trade and heavy sheep.
Very poor and lightweight sheep ranged from an estimated 250¢ to 370¢/kg cwt.