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MLA - Meat & Livestock Australia Limited

05/13/2021 | News release | Distributed by Public on 05/12/2021 21:05

Lamb prices surge across the board in Victoria

Lamb prices surge across the board in Victoria

13 May 2021

Key points:

  • Victorian lamb prices have lifted across most categories this week
  • Merinos performed well in Monday's Bendigo sale, with buyers valuing lighter carcase weights
  • Cooler temperatures across the Victorian countryside may impact the quality of lambs coming onto the market in coming weeks, which will impact price.

This week, dearer prices were reported across all Victorian lamb sales, with Bendigo and Horsham yardings easing by 7,000 and 3,270 head respectively, while Ballarat lifted by 1,156 head.

At Bendigo on Monday, Merinos dominated the lamb yarding, accounting for 25% of the offering, or 3,295 head. Processors continue to value lighter Merino carcase weights comparative to the crossbred offering, with the price of these lifting 30¢ week-on-week to average 775¢/kg carcase weight (cwt), or $188/head. Merino lambs averaged 23kg cwt, which ensured competition remained strong for processors and restockers, with both keen on purchasing lighter animals.

For the Tuesday CVLX sale at Ballarat, feeders were highly sought after, lifting 40¢ week-on-week to average 914¢/kg cwt, an increase of 4.6%. Cooler temperatures are leading to greater turn-off in Ballarat, while cheap grain and a strong medium-term market outlook are encouraging feeders, driving competition and lifting the price week-on-week.

Processors were the key buyers at Horsham on Wednesday, accounting for 49% of the yarding, or 4,481 head. These lambs averaged 25.7kg at 797¢/kg cwt, or $206/head. The increase of 1,638 head week-on-week in this category did not deter buyers, as processors continue to value quality stock in the heavy trade weight category. The restocker lamb portion of the yarding declined by 83¢ week-on-week to average 749¢/kg cwt, or $130/head. Cooler temperatures were the catalyst to easing prices and subdued competition, as producers considered how these would affect lamb growth.

Prices lifted across most reported categories and markets for Victorian lamb sales this week, supported by key feeder and processor buyers in Ballarat and Horsham. Merinos in Bendigo offered positivity for the lighter stock entering the market, as buyers favoured these carcase weights compared to the heavy trade crossbreds.

Looking ahead

The quality of lambs hitting the market will be an important consideration for restockers and processors to watch as cooler conditions hit Victoria in the coming months and will drive lighter carcase weights.

© Meat & Livestock Australia Limited, 2021

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