Bill Tatt: Lamb prices reach record heights at saleyards - 07/09/18

Stock and property: Agent Bill Tatt discusses how central west producers have done exceptionally well at recent lamb sales across the region. Photo: File.
Stock and property: Agent Bill Tatt discusses how central west producers have done exceptionally well at recent lamb sales across the region. Photo: File.

Week Ending 07/09/18

Three generations of the Shanks family were on hand at Dubbo when a new record price for lambs was set on Monday.

Jack, Robert and Ben Shanks ‘Marathon’ Dubbo saw their top pen of 64 head sell for $344.

The lead pen of the family’s new season suckers topped at $264.

Other great sales from the Christie and Hood catalogue included Neville Roberts and family at Narromine receiving $310.20 (10 days ago that would have been a yard record).

That family saw their second pen reached $290. All and all an outstanding day for those vendors who had the right article. To balance those highs the writer did see little off-shear merino lambs and hoggets receive as little as $6 to $8 per head.

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While talking lamb prices Kevin Short from the very reputable butchering business in Narromine drew my attention to a comment that I had made in a previous column, when asked by a client some time back “did I expect to see lambs reach $300.00”, my quick reply in essence was ”not in my lifetime”, Kevin asked last Monday what was my next guess?

The writer has given up on trying to second guess where the lamb market will reach. In these volatile times of high demand and low numbers who knows where prices may finish.

One agent friend of mine saw top of the range lamb chops in one of the major meat halls in Sydney retailing at $90.00/kg.

While on the subject of markets we hear that today Thursday, September 6, Wagga has drawn for a number in excess of 70,000 head of sheep and lambs.

My contacts in the south suggest that this part of the world needs urgent follow-up rain if their spring season is to flourish.

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Here around Dubbo and parts of the district it is incredible the quick response to minimal rain events.Like Wagga we need more rain events and quickly if we are to enjoy a half decent season.

Dubbo agents for the cattle sale on Thursday, September 6 have drawn for 2800 head.

With only approximately 18000 sheep and lambs on last Monday and no store cattle scheduled for Friday, September 7 and no goat sale on the horizon it could be one of the quietest Septembers on record for the Troy Complex.

While livestock buyers in our neck of the woods are static at present in the South some household names in the sheep and lamb buying fraternity are seeking greener pastures and reassessing their employment options.

Thomas Foods buyer Andrew Hay has gone across to Woolworths, former Coles buyer Mark Randell is now with JBS as is former livestock agent Brendan Halden.

Gavin Halden previously based in the Riverina buying for JBS has moved to Coles.

Roger Fletcher of Fletcher International has in recent days advertised for a representative to be based in South Australia from memory the advertisement suggested the future employee could have the option of a salaried or commission position.

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