Surge in lambs, sheep holds up
WE are now nearing the middle of November and lamb and sheep prices continue to steam ahead with demand for both at very strong levels.
Overall numbers, particularly in NSW, are lower than would be expected although big numbers are starting to come through in western Victoria.
At Ballarat on Tuesday there were 33,377 lambs on offer and on Wednesday there were 19,000 penned at Hamilton, which was 13,200 more than last week.
One could assume they will move to two-day sales within a week or two.
The good news out of both markets was that prices improved a further $3 to $8 per head.
At Ballarat heavy lambs made $165 to $206 each with averages between 630c/kg and 640c/kg carcass weight while heavy trade pens made $148 to $172, or 640c/kg.
Store buyers mainly paid between $120 to $143 and did buy smaller lambs for $66 to $115 per head. Light and light trade lambs bought by processors and exporters averaged 670c/kg.
At Hamilton on Wednesday the averages were not quite as high as at Ballarat but still at excellent levels for lambs straight off their mothers.
The season in western Victoria and southeastern South Australia is reported to be one of the best ever, so one could expect that the quality and number of lambs over the next six weeks will be very good.
It will be interesting to see if the prices can withstand the big numbers.
One of the reasons for the hot lamb competition is the very strong interest from NSW buyers.
This has also flowed across into the mutton yards, where prices have improved significantly over the past month.
At Ballarat on Tuesday there were 7211 mutton yarded and prices improved a further $6 to $9 per head.
Most averages were around 450c/kg with heavy crossbred ewes the only exception at 400c/kg – which is still incredible money.
Locally, in Tasmania lamb numbers are still low but we could expect them to increase over the next few weeks.
Mutton numbers are low in the yards but there are good numbers going directly to the works.
Next Friday Roberts is holding a sheep and lamb sale at Oatlands with 8000 already advised for sale. I would not be surprised if that number did grow significantly.
One could also expect that at the Oatlands sale there will be interstate processor competition.
Mutton and store lamb buyers from Victoria and South Australia can be expected to attend as well.
It will be an interesting day with an early start at 10.30 with plenty of time for golf in the afternoon.