Brunt of dry weather hits na­tional sheep mar­ket

The Northern Star - Northern New South Wales Rural Weekly - - ON FARM - Jenny Kelly news@ru­ral­weekly.com

SHEEP prices have crashed from the good re­turns of re­cent weeks as the dry weather takes its toll.

The lamb mar­ket has also shown fur­ther price corrections in the past week, with na­tional sa­le­yard in­di­ca­tors ex­pected to fall be­low 700c/kg car­cass weight in com­ing days.

Two pub­lic hol­i­days – last Fri­day in Vic­to­ria for the grand fi­nal – and on Mon­day this week in NSW and Queens­land, have dis­rupted the mar­ket by can­celling kill shifts and reg­u­lar sales.

But re­sults from sales held early this week in­di­cate the mar­ket is still on a down­ward trend due to build­ing sup­plies as con­di­tions re­main se­vere in the north and are start­ing to tighten in the south.

Price falls of $20 to $50 were recorded by heavy sheep sold at Bendigo on Mon­day this week amid lack­lus­tre de­mand from pro­ces­sors.

The steep de­cline meant the NLRS was quot­ing runs of good mut­ton be­tween 300c/kg and 380c/kg car­cass weight, with the light­est drought af­fected ewes be­low 150c/kg at times.

Prices crashed by a sim­i­lar mag­ni­tude at De­niliquin in south­ern NSW on Tues­day, with the ma­jor­ity of sheep sell­ing be­low $100 a head.

Re­sults for lamb early this week were mixed.

At Bendigo on Mon­day prices held up rea­son­ably well with the best sucker lambs still quoted above 700c/kg c/wt by agents and the NLRS.

The heaviest sucker lambs, over 30kg c/wt, reached $236, with the main run of heavy tradeweights from $173 to $196 at an es­ti­mated aver­age of 724c/kg re­ported by the NLRS.

How­ever the Bendigo mar­ket may have been pro­tected by the fact there was no sales in NSW on the same day, with Corowa and Dubbo can­celled by the pub­lic hol­i­day.

At De­niliquin on Tues­day morn­ing the lamb mar­ket was no­tice­ably cheaper, with car­cass rates track­ing well un­der 700c/kg cwt.

Most of the young lambs at De­niliquin made from $130 to $170, with agents tak­ing the op­tion to pass a few pens in.

Look­ing at the big pic­ture, lamb sup­plies have shown a rapid build-up in the past fort­night as the drought line moves fur­ther south.

It was ev­i­dent at Bendigo this week with an­other 28,000 lambs yarded, with agents sell­ing stock from ar­eas like Kil­more that in a good sea­son wouldn’t be sell­ing lambs un­til closer to Christ­mas.

The last avail­able slaugh­ter fig­ures for a full week (end­ing Septem­ber 21) show the East­ern states kill kicked by 13 per cent on the pre­vi­ous seven days to 315,882.

❝ Price falls of $20 to $50 were recorded by heavy sheep

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