The store sheep market is continuing to be buoyant as restocker demand from up north drives southern prices up.
That's according to Nutrien Ag Solutions Bendigo livestock manager Nick Byrne, who said that demand, mostly from NSW, had been constant for the last eight to 10 weeks.
"I haven't been up there because of the restrictions but from all reports they've got clover a foot and a half high and they can't get enough mouths to feed on it," Mr Byrne said.
"Obviously that's not all of them but there's a good portion who've had some good, early rains."
He said he had seen a slight price correction in the heavy export lambs due to COVID-19, but he believed "a few doors were beginning to open up again".
"There's been a few more exporters a bit more active in the last two to three weeks than there has been in the six weeks before that," he said.
Mr Byrne said the positivity in the market could have a deadline on it.
"We always have discussions about suckers - when they're coming through and how good they're going to be - and there are probably a couple of schools of thought on this," he said.
"Some [producers] may sell early into the domestic trade which is more buoyant than the export side in cents a kilogram terms.
"But probably the more logical thought is if they've got a mountain of feed and it's not going to cost them anything to make them heavier, they may carry them through and the trade blokes may find it hard to source them earlier in the piece."
He said the "season would tell the story".
"In our part of the world it's been exceptional but it's been varied," he said.
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Up north, trade lambs have been in strong demand and at Carcoar, NSW, last week, prices were pushed up by buyers from the big supermarket chains.
Nick Fogarty, Bowyer & Livermore, said it was another strong market with very good prices, similar to what they had seen in recent weeks.
"Local producers are having as good of an autumn season as we could expect, with many lambs carrying more weight after coming off very good crops," Mr Fogarty said.
Trade lambs were in high demand by the big supermarkets resulting in prices between $220 and $235 a head.
"Lambs in the 20 to 24 kilogram range were perfect for buyers, and were reaching in excess of 950c/kg," he said.
There were 5578 lambs yarded in total, with the top price of $268 achieved by two lots.