Surge in lambs, sheep holds up

Tasmanian Country - - THE STOCK REPORT - Richard Bai­ley

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.

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