State lamb record falls at Dublin at $348

YP feedlot claims SA lamb saleyard record

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HEAVY WEIGHTS: These 99 Suffolk-Merino lambs from Coolalie feedlot, Paskeville, sold for a $348 state record at Dublin on Tuesday.

HEAVY WEIGHTS: These 99 Suffolk-Merino lambs from Coolalie feedlot, Paskeville, sold for a $348 state record at Dublin on Tuesday.

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Lamb prices continued to surge upwards at the state's saleyards this week, including the SA Livestock Exchange at Dublin on Tuesday, where a $348 state record was set.

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Lamb prices continued to surge upwards at the state's saleyards this week, including the SA Livestock Exchange at Dublin on Tuesday, where a $348 state record was set.

But the price is still shy of the $380 national high achieved at Ballarat, Vic, where lambs of even heavier weights have been sold.

RELATED: Ballarat again tops at $380 as lamb's stellar run continues

Claiming the SA record were 99 Suffolk-Merino lambs from Coolalie feedlot, Paskeville, bought by the Australian Lamb Company, Colac, Vic.

Coolalie eclipsed the $337 previous record set in Naracoorte in June last year.

RELATED:Lamb record set at Naracoorte

Vendor Garry Willson, who is also a Combined Independent Agents Association agent, said he was "amazed" with the result, estimating the lambs at 80 kilograms to 84kg liveweight.

"I didn't think they would make anywhere near that, I was hoping for $270 to $280 as the seconds the previous week made $266," he said.

"They are the heaviest lambs I have ever sold by a long way and prices for heavier lambs were up on previous weeks."

The April/May-drop lambs were bought at Dublin in November last year and had been on wheat stubbles during summer, before entering the Yorke Peninsula feedlot for six weeks.

"It is massive money but if someone is prepared to put the work and time in you can get it back at the other end," he said.

Mr Willson said "records were made to be broken" but believed processors would consider cutting shifts at "much more" than $10/kg.

"There are not many lambs around, a lot of lambs have been purchased out of WA to feed but they will not have the weight in them," he said.

"Even at 24kg to 27kg (dressedweight) if they make $10/kg it is $270 to $280."

Elders Dublin/YP agent Matt Ward said the presence of two Vic processors not seen for some time at the sale and a higher quality yarding helped push heavy lamb prices higher.

It is one of those catch 22s, people have to eat but it has already impacted the share market and other things, so who knows what will happen? - Matt Ward, Elders

"We had a lot of lambs making in excess of $9/kg and some in excess of $10/kg," he said.

Mr Ward said concern was creeping in from those who had been feeding lambs for the past few months about where the market was heading and the potential impact of coronavirus.

HEADY HEIGHTS: Spence Dix & Co's Kym Lovelock, Bordertown, in a pen of his client's White Suffolk-Merino lambs which made $310 at Naracoorte.

HEADY HEIGHTS: Spence Dix & Co's Kym Lovelock, Bordertown, in a pen of his client's White Suffolk-Merino lambs which made $310 at Naracoorte.

"It is one of those catch 22s, people have to eat but it has already impacted the share market and other things, so who knows what will happen?" he said.

"But, if things go the right way I can see lambs making $360 or even $380 in the weeks to come."

In the South East, some traditional on-hooks sellers have seen the saleyards as a better option this year, with the 12,500-head yarding much larger than normal for March.

At Naracoorte on Tuesday, prices topped at $321 with a few pens exceeding $300.

Spence Dix & Co agent Kym Lovelock had a client with 60 April/May 2019-drops from P&A Rowett & Sons, Mundulla, make $310. They weighed about 73kg.

"In producers' favour, supply is already tight, coronavirus is the only uncertainty going forward but if the price spikes much more it is getting to the stage abattoirs may consider closing," he said.

"If we can hold around $9/kg that would be exceptional."

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