Lamb numbers at Cowra’s weekly sheep and lamb sale on Friday were down but a pen of new sucker lambs realised one of the highest prices for that category in Cowra with the pen, sold by JJ Dresser and Co, bringing $225 a head.
According to Meat and Livestock Australia quality at the sale was quite good for the new season lambs, with 2,300 head offered.
The total yarded was 5800 sheep and lambs, down 1360 the previous week.
The heavy old lambs were well presented, while the lighter grades tended to be varied in finish.
There were mainly trade weights penned with the heavy end limited, while store new season lambs increased in number.
Quality at the sale was quite good for the new season lambs, with 2,300 head offeredMLA
Not all buyers were present and competition was very strong on the new season lambs, resulting in a much stronger market for the young grades.
Light new season lambs were $10 dearer, averaging $141, while stores were cheaper by similar levels, averaging $92/head.
Medium and heavy trade weight new seasons were $11/head stronger and averaged 800c to 880c/kg cwt.
Most of the heavy trade weight young lambs sold from $178 to top at $225/head.
Old trade weight lambs were firm to slightly cheaper, averaging 790c to 820c/kg cwt and making from $180 to $193/head.
Heavy weights were $3 cheaper, averaging 790c to 815c/kg cwt, with a few pens of extra heavy weight lambs making from $202 to $224/head.
Mutton numbers increased and quality was very mixed with medium Merino ewes holding firm, averaging from $93 to $103/head or 380c to 420c/kg cwt.
Heavy first cross ewes averaged $132/head or 390c/kg cwt. Light sheep sold from $30 to $66/head.
Prices at Cowra on Friday were a far cry from the $300 a head being realised for the extra-heavy lines in some centres.
Anecdotal evidence suggests if lambs aren’t going back to the paddock, the shortage of prime lambs in mid-spring will really begin to bite.
At the same time, it’s really still too cold for any substantial spring pasture growth to finish these light lambs even if the state received drought-breaking rain right now.
There may be some relief this week with weatherzone.com.au forecasting a 90 per cent chance of between 1 and 5mm of rain falling on Tuesday.