The number of sheep, lamb and cattle into the saleyards this week have started to drop right back. Brendan Mansbrigde of Kevin Miller, Whitty, Lennon & Co (KMWL) attributed this to the harvesting season starting. “Farmers are making hay and getting ready for the harvest. They do not focus on stock.” Brendan said there was also a lot of feed available so producers were keeping lambs and young cattle for longer.
In combination with these factors, prices have also started to fall in the lamb market as Western Victoria is reaching its peak season with a later spring. “A lot of lambs have hit the market in Hamilton and Ballarat, which is part of the annual cycle,” said Brendan. Prices this week fell the most for old season shorn lambs reaching a top of $163 – about $3 cheaper than previous week. Heavy new season lambs went for $159. Old sheep sold for $3 to $4 dearer, while Merino wethers reached a top of $130 and Merino ewes went to a top of $118.
The cattle market did not see much change this week, except old cows were 5 to 6c per kilo cheaper compared to the previous week. Looking ahead, Brendan said prices were still good – it had just come off the recent record prices. Numbers should increase again by March next year.