Lamb carcasses took a $5-7 jump in price late last week, and fat and feeder lamb prices moved upward this week. Slaughter lambs were a couple of dollars higher while feeders were around $5-7 higher.
Slaughter ewes were mixed with Midwest markets off a little while Texas markets were a couple of dollars higher. Ewe exports to Mexico last week amounted to 6919 head, bringing the year to date total to 109,879 head compared to 102,677 for the same period last year.
East Coast lamb carcasses weighing 45-55 pounds were $137.50-142.50 last week, 55-65 pounds $135.50-140.50, 65-75 pounds $129.50-130, 75-85 pounds $119.50-120 and over 85 pounds $105.50-106.
Lamb carcass cutout values took a sharp jump Wednesday in response to higher carcass prices and almost wiped out the disparity between lights and heavies. Weights 65 pounds and down were up $11.45 at $159.46 and weights 65 pounds and up improved $15.40 at $157.71.
Sheep and lamb slaughter last week was only 63,000 and is not expected to be over 50,000 this holiday-shortened period. Slaughter rates, quite a bit above a year ago the first couple of months of the year, have been running about in line with a year ago for the past six weeks but should be less than a year ago for the balance of the year.
Lamb and mutton inspected and passed for entry into the United States totaled 747 metric tons last week, or the equivalent of 37 percent of domestic production. Australia shipped 403 metric tons and New Zealand 344 metric tons.
Rains throughout much of West Texas this week have squelched the drouth that has stymied grazing most of this year. Several areas reported over four inches. Spring has finally arrived.
In San Angelo 40-90 pound feeder lambs brought $77-86, a few oldcrops weighing 65-100 pounds $62-69. Fredericksburg had most lambs $78-85 with blackface $84-89.50, heavies $77-84. Goldthwaite lambs of 50-75 pounds brought $77-83, 80-105 pounds $77-80.50. Midwest markets had 50-70 pound feeders $80-90 and 70-90 pounds $75-80.
Feeder lambs moving direct in West Texas were mostly on the heavy side and brought $76-78. California lambs weighing 100 pounds moved at $65.
Slaughter lambs in San Angelo brought $63-68 with newcrops $70-75. Midwest markets had fats $68.60-69.25, a few newcrops at $70.
Recent sales on Texas fat lambs moving direct to packers reported 120-145 pounders at $65-70 with 30-40 cent slides on weights over 125 pounds; newcrop lambs made $68-72. California had 110-130 pound newcrop lambs at $60-65. Colorado contract lambs averaged 154 pounds at $56.52, dropping about seven pounds from the previous week.
Fleshy slaughter ewes in San Angelo brought $37-48.50, fat ewes $25-35. Midwest markets had ewes $25-28.
South Dakota recently sold 85 pound ewe lambs at $62 per head and yearlings at $75 per head.
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