WHILE prices for top quality older lambs remain high, deteriorating seasonal conditions and the influx of new season lambs has lead to a price dip for medium weight and aged lambs.
Mark Flagg Livestock and Property principal Mark Flagg, Barellan, said lamb quality in the area was diminishing week to week.
“The season has turned sour, so we are seeing the quality of the lambs deteriorate each week,” he said.
“There is less weight on the lambs than last week, and the skins are drying off, unless you have first-cross ewes and good feed it’s hard to get the weight required.”
There was a drop of $6 to $8 for lambs to processors, while old lambs slipped $5 to $10 at last Friday’s lamb sale at Griffith. Mr Flagg said the market for top quality lambs was still very strong.
“Best quality export lambs have held up really well, but the prices for the rest have not been as strong.”
“Top suckers have been making $180, with the lesser quality lambs making $10 to $12 less.”
Mr Flagg said a high quantity of dry area lambs had been coming into the area, as well as a good volume of store lambs for restocking to the south.
Langlands Hanlon agent Cooper Byrne, Parkes, said the Forbes market had come back slightly in the past week, following three or four weeks of a slightly upward trend, with prices rising $3 to $5 a week.
He said demand for lambs had been very strong considering the high numbers being consistently yarded.
“We have been yarding 40,000 to 50,000 each week, there has been slight variations in some prices, but overall the market has remained very firm,” he said.
“Receiving 620 to 660 cents a kilogram for sucker lambs when you are yarding 12,000 to 15,000 lambs is very handy.”
Mr Byrne said the large numbers of sucker lambs were coming off wet and river country, with lower numbers of suckers being yarded from the drier areas.
“The quality coming off the river country has been good. The lines of new season lambs are fresh and in good condition.”
Frame Rural Agencies principal Philip Frame, Inverell, said prices for good quality older lambs in his area had remained firm, as producers would not be expecting new season lambs for a number of months.
“Last week the best lambs made $198 for 65kg, older lambs have generally been making 540c/kg,” he said.
“Trade lambs were $5 to $60 a head cheaper across the board, but that is very much quality related.”
Mr Frame said while yardings during the past weeks had been high, lamb numbers in the area were beginning to dwindle due to the consistent frosts, lack of rain and a lack of feed.