Industry eyes will turn to Corowa this Monday morning as the national lamb market continues to surge.
Record high prices for the Honour Ave saleyards have been set in each of the past two yardings, with a pen of 70 extra heavy “Allambie West” Pleasant Hills lambs selling for $281.60 last Monday.
Elders selling agent David Hill said the Beckett family had set the lambs, averaging 35kg, for the July 23 sale.
“It’s not often you see the tail of your lambs make the most money,” he said, “that was the end of his lambs, the end run of his lambs, that made the most money.
“They kicked it at $270 … and they had a slug-out until $281.60. For Corowa to knock Wagga off is a pretty good result.”
A short-lived Australian record price of $281.20 for extra-heavy lambs was set at Wagga on June 19.
A pen of lambs sold for $297.60 at Wagga on Thursday, July 26, and now the question is whether there are enough top quality heavy lambs in the paddock, and enough buyer competition to push through the $300 a head barrier.
“Our big lambs are just about gone, we’ve got some big lambs but not as big as those lambs, and not in those numbers,” Mr Hill said.
“We’ve seen the best of the lambs, but we might not have seen the dearest prices.”
Elders Albury manager Tony Killalea said it was good to see the region’s farmers rewarded for their endeavour and perseverance.
“The guys who have stuck to sheep and cattle in their traditional farming enterprise have done very well,” Mr Killalea said.
High prices have put a spring in the step of agents and farmers with long-standing working relationships who still have clear memories of drought induced lows.
“We’ve been there when the lows are on,” Mr Hill said.
“We might be kicking goals at the moment, we’re doing very well, but we do the same amount of work for the same amount of people as we were when sheep were worth nothing … I remember in ’82 you were getting $1 a pen. There wasn’t one sheep in the pen there was 350 to 500 sheep in the pen.”