A SLIP of about 50 cents a kilogram greeted some NSW lamb producers at prime sales this week.
It seems the higher prices of the past few weeks just couldn't be sustained at some saleyards.
The biggest average falls were for light trade lambs which were back 52c/kg and settled early this week on 890c/kg. Trade lambs averaged 904c/kg and were about 48c/kg cheaper.
The demand from export processors with orders to fill may have helped the heavy lamb market which only slipped 26c/kg to 926c/kg.
A bright spot was the NSW restocker lamb indicator which remained above 1000c/kg and managed to improve 6c/kg. It was on 1043c/kg early this week.
However, it was a different story in Victoria where heavy lambs set new national price records on Monday and Tuesday.
At Bendigo on Monday extra heavy lambs sold for $360/head, then on Tuesday at Ballarat they topped at $380/head.
These prices beat the past record of $355/head set by Forbes in July last year.
Meanwhile, lamb prices weakened under a bigger flush of numbers at Wagga Wagga prime sale last Thursday.
Despite a good quality yarding of grain-finished lambs, MLA reported prices were significantly cheaper.
Prices for the main run of 22kg to 24kg lambs eased $11 and averaged 925c/kg, while light and medium trade weights sold from $168 to $218/head.
The market at Dubbo on Monday went against the cheaper trend and most categories of lambs were dearer.
Trade lambs were $4 dearer and sold from $168 to $246/head to average between 965c/kg and 980c/kg according to MLA figures.
At Corowa prime sale the trend was similar with lambs weighing up to 16kg $8 dearer. These made from $136 to $170 and restockers paid to $166/head.