SELLING lambs after Anzac Day may prove a positive move this year with stronger prices at most NSW saleyards.
The brighter market trend started mid last week and early this week the state's Trade Lamb Indicator was just shy of 700 cents a kilogram (carcase weight).
Helping push up the indictor was the strength of the Wagga Wagga sale last Thursday where supply slipped in comparison to the sale a week earlier.
Buyers were selective, according to Meat and Livestock Australia, and paid premium prices for shorter skinned lambs.
This lifted the market $15 to $20 a head in places.
The strength of the buyer competition on trade lambs fluctuated depending on quality, but generally the 25kg to 26kg (cwt) lambs were about $6 dearer.
There was also a good line up of heavy export lambs and MLA reported despite less buying activity prices lifted to record a top price of $260.
As the selling week got underway at Tamworth on Monday, demand was also stronger on the larger sized yarding.
The well-finished trade lambs from 18kg to 22kg sold to a slightly dearer trend, as did the pens up to 26kg. Anything heavier than 26kg was generally firm on the previous week.
Stewart Dow, Glenton, Manilla, was well rewarded for the presentation on his heavy lambs sold at Tamworth. The lamb had been running on lucerne for the past six weeks.
All up he sold 165 head and the heaviest lamb tipped the scales at 79kg (liveweight). His top pen of 50 head all weighed more than 68kg and sold for $249.
The lambs were from home-bred first-cross ewes by a ram from the Davidson family's Clermont White Suffolk stud, Somerton.
Meanwhile, lamb exports continue to power ahead across a range of emerging markets.
While some of the traditional markets such as the US and South-East Asia have taken reduced volumes of our lamb, China, South Korea and the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region have all recorded significant growth.
Shipment to South Korea rose by 60 per cent last year to 22,901 tonnes (shipped weight) according to MLA business analyst Tim Jackson. That's on track to lift further as exports were already up 47pc for the first three months to just under 6000t.
"This has made South Korea the third largest export destination for lamb, after the US and China," Mr Jackson said.
"Strong growth in markets like South Korea increase the resilience of Australian lamb and make it less likely that local disruptions will affect exports.
"Already a strong market for Australian beef, South Korea is becoming increasingly important for Australian lamb."
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