Drought drives sheep demand
POOR conditions that marred 2018 have impacted the national supply of sheep.
Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) predicted lamb slaughter has been at its lowest since 2012, down 21.2 million head.
Consequently, the decline in sheep numbers drove up export and domestic demand.
This was reflected in the final sheep sales at VLE Leongatha last Wednesday.
“The sale certainly had more demand than last year,” Terry Johnston from Leongatha SEJ said.
An approximate total of 850 sheep and lambs went up for auction.
Mr Johnston said the best lambs made to $210 per lamb while quality cull ewes fetched $130.
“It was very mixed and there were small lots, but overall, they brought quite a good price,” he said.
Best lambs in other booming markets, such as in Ballarat, Corowa and Wagga Wagga, brought $300.
“There’s a lot more competition in these markets and a lot heavier lambs,” Mr Johnston said.
“The sheep at the final sale here were nowhere near the weight of other selling centres, so we got a good price.”
Mirboo North farmer Douglas Mancarella said he sold his 70 head of sheep, receiving $180 for the tops.
“Usually we don’t get as good a price here as there isn’t as much competition as Ballarat, but I’m happy with the prices we got today,” he said.
Mr Johnston said all was looking well for the oncoming season, which would start back in late November or early December this year.
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