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Rain Boosts Lamb Prices

Widespread rains in most lamb producing areas of the nation in June have boosted confidence and increased prices.

The dramatic change of season boosted Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator to a 14-month high early in June. The light lamb indicator jumped 28 cents higher in a week to 402c/kg carcase weight while restocker lambs increased 6c/kg to 488c/kg.

Trade weight lamb also increased with the eastern States indicator reaching the highest level since April 2012 at 450c/kg carcase weight.

The old rule of thumb that the the market would develop at the same rate the grass grows has been true in the cattle market but agents report there is no such hesitation in the sheep marlket.

While overall yardings dropped 10 per cent in the week following the break in the season The Land reported NSW centres Wagga Wagga, Cowra and Griffith bucked the national trend.

Lamb numbers more than doubled to 11,742 at Griffith while Wagga recorded 47,200 head, with 80 per cent of the yarding made up of lambs.

The National Livestock Report-ing Service (NLRS) recorded prices up to $12 a head dearer for heavy and extra heavyweights, while light and trade lambs made about $6 to $7 a head more at Griffith compared to their previous sale.

Strong demand from both export and domestic buyers keen to acquire adequate supplies of heavy weights pushed prices up as high as 483c/kg while extra heavy weights made up to $170 a head.

Mutton numbers increased at most sales across NSW with Cowra recording a $12 increase to 253c/kg while Wagga was up $17 a head and ranged from 273c/kg to 309c/kg.

While the rain has caused a reduction in sheep and lamb yardings at some sales, the number of restocker and feeder buyers was on the rise.

Agents report that restockers had not flocked to the sales yet, but would during the next few weeks.

“Things are improving – restockers are showing more interest and we hope to see more of them in the coming weeks after receiving good falls of rain,” commented one agent.

 

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