Sheep price levels are bouncing around depending on who is buying and at which saleyard.
While some processors have secured a portion through direct sales, they are still present at the saleyard but not always in the fray.
Most of the regular sheep buyers made it to the Wagga Wagga, NSW, mutton sale last week for just over 8000 sheep and yet it was Southern Meats and Fletchers International who were most active on the heavier end.
Prices generally climbed $10-$13 a head for the heaviest ewes to average 325 cents a kilogram carcase weight.
Meat & Livestock Australia's National Livestock Reporting Service reported trade sheep were firm to $8 dearer as buyers took a wide range of orders in this category.
It meant lighter sheep made form $47-$65 while trade sheep sold at $51-$82 to average 258-291c/kg.
Bigger numbers of new-season lambs have begun to appear at Wagga Wagga, and most are reported to be weighing very well.
The bulk of the new-season lambs sold between $100-$158 to average 539-590c/kg.
Heavy-export lamb rates were influenced by the level of processor competition which varied between agents, with weight determining the better price outcomes.
Heavy and extra-heavy lambs gained $10-$13, averaging 504c/kg.
The dearer trend continued this week at Dubbo, NSW, on Monday where agents offered 28,445 lambs, 1835 more than the previous sale, and just over 8500 sheep.
Producers offloaded big numbers of lighter-weight lambs this week and processors discounted the plainer end.
Trade lamb rates improved $4 to average 459c/kg.
The heavy-export lamb market lacked intensity resulting in rates softening $7, selling at $125-$169.
Bendigo's market on Monday of 9450 lambs produced solid results, despite a winter-affected yarding and less processor competition.
The very-small pool of heavy lambs caused prices to strengthen $8-$9.
The bulk of the trade lambs trended lower to average 404-504c/kg.
A small line up of new-season lambs was penned and the better-quality lambs made from $120-$140 to average 550-604c/kg.
Lamb supplies lifted marginally at Ballarat to 12,000 lambs and 2700 sheep.
Rates fell $6-$10 for many lambs this week as domestic and export demand dropped away from the solid market trends of recent weeks.
Heavy lambs sold at $122-$173 to average 511c/kg.
While there were some hefty price drops of up to $15 for plainer trade lambs, the general run slipped $10 to average 492c/kg.
It was more of the same in the mutton run.
Light and medium sheep sold $5-$12 easier.
Heavy sheep dipped $5, averaging 200-249c/kg.
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