Recent rain has not just freshened up pastures, it's also put a spring in the prices at lamb sales in the past week.
As much as 100 millimetres of rain was recorded in the southern half of the state and lighter falls in the north.
Wagga Wagga's weekly prime sale led the dearer trend late last week as some heavy lambs lifted as much as 75 cents a kilogram (carcase weight) and topped at 525c/kg or $197 a head.
Riverina Livestock Agents director James Tierney, Wagga, said the rain had helped boost prices, but the limited supply of heavier export lambs was also at play.
"Those better finished heavy lambs are harder to find," Mr Tierney said.
"Depending on the season, it could mean those lambs will be even more limited as we head into the new year.
"People don't want to feed grain to lambs this year, so very few of them being offered right now are grain finished."
Mr Tierney said there were plenty of trade lambs being offered, but the finish was variable and was driving the market trends.
"Restocker demand on the lighter lambs has been flat," he said.
He said while the season was good around Wagga, it was starting to go off further north.
"Once you go about 100 kilometres north of Wagga, the season is not as good, but having said that, the rain last week was a godsend for many people," he said.
Ray White Richardson and Sinclair director Justin Sanderson said the lamb market at Dubbo on Monday was firm to slightly better.
"The markets in the south were stronger due to the rain and we saw a positive trend here as the supply has started to slow," Mr Sanderson said.
"It's certainly positive news for us as it shows once we get past the numbers of old lambs, there are signs things might get better.
"At the moment in Dubbo there's plenty of old lambs still around, plus sucker lambs that are not as heavy as they normally would be as a result of the season this year."
Mr Sanderson said lamb producers were still tossing up about whether to sell early and not grain feed or take the risk of feeding grain and hope the returns are there at the end.
"It's hard to predict which way the market will go for the heavy lambs," he said.
"Some people are grain feeding as they have old-season grain on-farm they want to clear out before harvest.
"But there's certainly a range of finish for the lambs being offered right now in Dubbo."
Even though one major processor was closed for maintenance and not buying at Tamworth lamb sale on Monday, the market was dearer for trade suckers and well-finished old lambs.
Part of this trend was due to a big dip in supply when compared with the sale a fortnight ago.
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