WA weekly sheep summary

16 July 2015


Continuing dry conditions across most of WA’s southern regions is generating discussions of early turnoff of stock and the probability of low new season lamb numbers and weights. Direct-to-works deliveries of older lambs continue to satisfy most of the major processors requirements at present with scheduled prices dropping, although exceeding those being paid at sales. Scheduled maintenance breaks are continuing with some facilities recommencing processing at reduced throughput.

Sales at both Muchea and Katanning saw marginally larger supplies with secondary and store lamb supplies dominating numbers. Merino lambs were in larger numbers with many of these lighter weight, store conditioned drafts. Prime trade and heavy lamb numbers were limited with most trade weight drafts being secondary, tail end drafts.

Most buyers were present this week but the competition for lamb was restricted due to scheduled maintenance and solid direct-to-works supplies impacting. Prices for prime trade lambs slipped but the secondary drafts fell solidly to be at least $7/head lower. Prime lamb prices averaged close to 500¢ with the Merino and store conditioned drafts priced between 440¢ and 460¢/kg cwt.

Light and store lambs to restockers, which included solid supplies of Merino’s, sold between $40and $70/head to remain firm. Lighter lambs suitable for the processor, air freight markets and feeders were also cheaper at $60 to $90/head. Trade lambs lost close to $7 and sold between $75 and $112/head to be close to 460¢/kg cwt.


Ewe mutton prices remained firm largely due to supply pressures. Heavier 3 and 4 score ewes made from $70 to $97/head to average close to 315¢/kg cwt. The 2 score processor ewes sold between $45 and $80, also firm, with light ewes from $30 to $60/head. Restocker activity remained firm on suitable younger ewe drafts with prices from $40 to $88/head.

Feeder and live export competition was selective on all store and wether drafts. Wether prices improved by $5/head with increased live export competition and similar processor activity. Export weight wether drafts made $85 to $112/head. Lighter conditioned wethers, mostly to restockers, sold between $55 and $90/head.  Ram lambs sold to $95 with live exporters and feeders paying $30 to $88/head on suitable drafts. Older drafts to processors made $10 to $57/head. 

Note: All yardings and prices referenced from MLA’s National Livestock Reporting Service (NLRS) reported saleyards.

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