Mutton prices have experienced a significant decline, reaching their lowest levels since 2008.
However, there is some relief in the market as trade and heavy lambs have started to gain momentum, leading to a price rebound.
According to data from the National Livestock Reporting Service, prices have shown signs of recovery, increasing by 20 cents a kilogram carcase weight.
The eastern state trade indicator has risen to 450c/kg.
Encouraging signs were observed in Wagga Wagga, NSW, and Griffith, NSW, late last week, as both young and old lamb values started to rise from a previous low point due to limited competition over several weeks.
New-season lambs saw a gain of $12 a head, with an average price of 536c/kg.
Heavy sucker lambs were in high demand from both domestic and export processors, resulting in price improvements of $7-$10.
The average price for these lambs ranged from 500-524c/kg.
However, the mutton market faced challenges, particularly for heavy sheep, which experienced another price correction, declining by $12-$17.
In some sales, heavy sheep were averaging as low as 89c/kg.
The top pens of heavy sheep were sold at prices ranging from $40-$59.
Notably, a significant number of Merino wethers emerged as market leaders, fetching a top price of $93.
In Bendigo, the lamb numbers saw a decline to sit at 10,950, and 50 per cent of the offering consisted of sucker lambs.
Sheep numbers also experienced a slight dip, decreasing by 1250 to 4300.
The quality of the young lambs was exceptional.
Major domestic buyers were actively participating, which resulted in a market upswing of $5-$12 for the better-presented drafts.
This improved competition carried over to the older lambs, causing prices to surge by $6-$10.
The heaviest young lambs commanded prices ranging from $140-$154, with an average of 505c/kg.
Heavy, old lambs averaged between 440-480c/kg.
In parallel, sheep sales maintained similar rates as the previous week, with averages falling within 120-180c/kg.
The Ballarat lamb market saw a significant decline in numbers, with only 6537 lambs and 2635 sheep.
This marked the lowest turn out of the year, indicating a potential shift in supply dynamics until the flush of new-season lambs appear in November.
While the quality of the livestock on offer varied, there were plenty of exceptional grainfed, old, heavy, export lambs making their presence felt.
Heavy export lambs were met with relatively-stable prices, although some sales experienced a slight decrease of up to $4, averaging 420c/kg.
In contrast, the limited supply of trade lambs caused a modest spike in their prices.
The scarcity of trade lambs in the market drove buyers to compete more aggressively for this category.
These lambs saw a lift of $5, reaching an average of 438c/kg.
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