THE lamb market seems to have levelled out in the past week following several weeks of volatility.
Early this week trade lambs in NSW were averaging 863 cents a kilogram (carcase weight) which is only a few cents lower than at the same time last week.
Prices are about 100c/kg cheaper than a month ago, but the entry of new season lambs onto the market may be helping to put the brake on higher prices.
The timing of new season lambs onto the market, albeit at low volumes is earlier than the trend of the past two seasons.
Meat and Livestock Australia reported more than 13,000 new season lambs were recorded in NSW saleyards last week.
The major lamb selling centres of Dubbo, Forbes and Wagga Wagga all yarded more than 2000 head.
MLA have speculated that given the strong returns for finished lambs and more favourable grain prices compared to 2018 levels, the delay in well finished new season lambs hitting the market may not be as pronounced as last year.
However, it said fewer lambs overall were anticipated to limit supply and drive competition, supporting prices through into spring.
It's worth noting that even though trade lamb prices have slipped in recent weeks, they are still nearly 90c/kg better than this time last year.
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Carcoar PTIC cows sell to $1810
THE market was generally solid across all categories of stock due to Victorian buyer competition at the Central Tablelands Livestock Exchange, Carcoar, store cattle sale last Friday.
All up 3234 head were offered including good numbers of weaners, but limited yearlings and cows with calves.
Meat and Livestock Australia reported the quality was back slightly, due to the offering showing the effects of winter.
Weaner steers weighing less than 200 kilograms sold from $280 to $600 a head, while those from 200kg to 280kg ranged from $450 to $1000.
The 280kg to 330kg weaner steers sold from $825 to $995 and a small number of pens weighing more than 330kg ranged from $910 to $1080.
Weaner heifers weighing less than 200 kilograms sold from $200 to $515 a head, while those from 200kg to 280kg ranged from $320 to $780. The 280kg to 330kg weaner heifers sold from $630 to $805 and one pen weighing more than 330kg sold for $960.
Most of the yearling steers tipped the scales at less than 330kg and sold from $400 to $1000. Those weighing more than 330kg sold from $930 to $1270.
A small number of yearling heifers ranged from $550 to $1040.
The pregnancy-tested-in-calf cows varied considerably in weight and quality.
The poorer end started at $280, but the top quality lines topped at $1810.
Unjoined cows ranged from $385 to $430, while a limited number of cows with calves sold from $1240 to $1290.