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Australian Weekly Sheep Summary

21 April 2015
Meat & Livestock Australia

AUSTRALIA - The following report is a collection of market summaries from the previous week across Australia's territories from analysts at Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA).



Lamb supply across Victoria this week increased by 71 per cent, with a total of 72,793 head offered, due in part to the recommencement of a full working week.

Ballarat lamb numbers lifted by 34 per cent, with 29,814 head penned. Hamilton offered 13,376 head which represented a 21 per cent increase in supply. Horsham throughput increased by a marginal 3 per cent, to offer 9,491 lambs and Bendigo penned 20,112 head.

Light 2 score lambs to restockers were 10¢ easier, returning an average of 531¢/kg cwt. Similar lambs to slaughter eased 4¢, returning between 456¢ and 565¢, to average 536¢/kg cwt. Trade weight, 3 score lambs to slaughter lost between 20¢ and 23¢, with lighter trade weight lambs returning an average of 531¢ and heavier lambs within the category averaging 519¢/kg cwt. Heavy weight 4 score lambs averaged 524¢, easing 18¢/kg cwt. Extra heavy weight lambs followed the easing trend to average 518¢, back 18¢/kg cwt.


The supply of mutton across the state this week totalled 22,608 head, lifting by 73 per cent week-on-week.

Numbers offered at both Hamilton and Horsham increased, by 44 per cent and 27 per cent, respectively, with Hamilton yarding 5,561 head and 2,314 were consigned at Horsham. Mutton numbers at Ballarat declined by 10 per cent, with 6,707 head offered.

Most 2 score light weight Merino ewes averaged 368¢, signifying an increase in price of 24¢/kg cwt. Similar Merino ewes in the medium weight category gained 21¢, to average 359¢/kg cwt. Medium weight, 2 score Merino wethers gained 20¢, selling between 348¢ and 415¢/kg cwt.

New South Wales


With the return to a full working week after the Easter break, lamb numbers lifted by 47 per cent, for a total of 100,311 head.

Dubbo penned 22,370 lambs, as Tamworth yarded 1,550 head. Forbes gained 29 per cent, week-on-week and penned 28,750 lambs, with CTLX lifting by 28 per cent to 9,500 head. Wagga gained 8 per cent, for a total of 36,000 head, as Inverell continued its fortnightly market and penned 2,141 lambs.

Competition weakened throughout all lamb categories, as the lighter weights slipped by $4 to $6/head. The trade weights lost $4 to $6, making from $84 to $134/head, or an average from 528¢ to 532¢/kg cwt. The heavier weights decreased by $4 to $7/head, whereas the extra heavy weights maintained firm prices. The lighter end ranged from $96 to $165, or an average from 527¢ to 543¢/kg cwt, with the extra heavy weights topping at $185/head. The best of the heavy weight Merino pens averaged from 509¢ to 512¢/kg cwt, after reaching $159/head.


Sheep numbers nearly doubled week-on-week, for a total of 35,957 head.

Dubbo and Tamworth yarded 10,640 head and 3,500 head, respectively, as Forbes numbers more than doubled at 9,700 head. CTLX penned 4,050 sheep, an increase of 30 per cent week-on-week. Wagga penned 7,000 head and Inverell offered 1,067 sheep.

The lighter mutton weighing less than 24kg cwt sold $4/head cheaper, whereas the heavier weights maintained firm prices compared to the previous week. The medium and heavy weights ranged from $55 to $132/head, with the 2 to 4 score Merino mutton averaging in the 368¢ to 416¢/kg cwt range.

South Australia


Lamb supply across the state increased 69 per cent week-on-week, to 18,534 lambs.

Supply more than doubled at Mount Gambier where 2,346 lambs were consigned. Numbers at both Naracoorte and the SA Livestock Exchange also increased, with Naracoorte yarding 2,485 head and the SA Livestock Exchange offered 13,703 head.

Lamb prices for the majority of categories were weaker this week. Light weight 1 score Merino lambs to restockers lost 20¢, to average 411¢, while 2 score lines lost 55¢, averaging 458¢/kg cwt. Most 2 score light Merino lambs to slaughter eased only 4¢, reaching 533¢ and averaging 439¢/kg cwt. Crossbred trade weight lambs, gained 33¢ to return 527¢, while similar lambs weighing 20kg to 22kg cwt were back 28¢, to average 469¢/kg cwt. Heavy weight 4 score lambs sold from 472¢ to 546¢ and averaged 505¢, back 38¢/kg cwt. Most 4 score lambs in the extra heavy weight category also eased, falling 10¢, to 516¢/kg cwt.


Mutton supply across the state lifted 71 per cent week-on-week, with 3,202 head offered.

Both Naracoorte and the SA Livestock Exchange recorded an increase in numbers with 1,065 head penned at Naracoorte and 1,981 head offered at the SA Livestock Exchange.

Medium weight 2 score Merino ewes averaged 288¢, up 12¢/kg cwt. Heavy weight 3 score Merino ewes eased 15¢ to average 302¢, while those to slaughter gained 23¢ to settle on 346¢/kg cwt.

Western Australia


WA lamb supply doubled, totalling 16,598 head week-on-week. Quality of the yarding remained mixed with a larger percentage across the categories being light weight, plain conditioned drafts.

Prices for prime trade lambs lifted marginally at both Muchea and Katanning. Average prices for prime lamb drafts remained close to 520¢, with the majority of the trade weight lambs being secondary and store conditioned drafts and priced between 450¢ and 560¢/kg cwt. Heavier lambs, in excess of 22kg cwt, remained firm with most sales close to 520¢/kg cwt.

Very light store lambs, mostly Merino, sold between $25 and $60/head. Lighter lambs suitable for the processor, air freight markets and feeders firmed $4, with most sales between $65 and $98 /head. Trade lambs sold between $80 and $126/head with prime drafts averaging close to 520¢/kg cwt.


Mutton supply increased, with 20,123 head offered week-on-week. Mutton prices to processors lifted slightly, due to shortages reportedly direct-to-works.

Ewe mutton prices were firm to dearer at both sales. Heavier 3 and 4 score ewes made $70 to $102/head to remain close to 320¢/kg cwt. Ewes in 2 score condition sold between $55 and $94, to be $5/head dearer and averaged close to 330¢/kg cwt also.

Live exporters were more selective on wether drafts. Wether prices were back $5, while heavy weight drafts made from $75 to $105/head. Lighter conditioned wethers were also easier with most sales between $60 and $82/head. Ram lambs sold between $70 and $105 to processors, with young rams to live export and feeders making $45 to $80/head, both similar week-on-week.


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