Saleyard prices for lamb and mutton have started the month on a cheaper note as supplies build up heading deeper into the spring flush.
All major markets reported easier demand with not all regular buyers operating, in a sign that some abattoirs are starting to receive better numbers direct.
For lambs, northern markets are showing premiums due to more restricted availability across parts of NSW due to the ongoing wet weather.
At the end of trade last week, the Eastern Trade Lamb Indicator showed a price correction across all classes.
Heavy lambs over 22 kilograms carcase weight were back 27 cents a kilogram to rest at 750c/kg.
Trade lambs slipped 34c/kg to average 755c/kg.
Mutton was also showing a dip of 12c/kg to sit at 603c/kg.
The bright spot from last week was heavy lambs weighing more than 30kg carcase weight and showing plenty of freshness, which received solid competition at Wagga Wagga, NSW, to make from $235-$264 a head.
Other young lambs weighing 26-30kg sold to patchy demand at most selling centres, with buyers not willing to enter bidding duels.
The lack of competition resulted in prices slipping $12-$15, with the bulk making $194-$245, averaging 767c/kg.
In opening markets on Monday, prices for the best domestic lambs were holding firm.
However some variance had started to creep into markets as quality declined and more mixed lots appeared.
The cheaper trend appeared at Bendigo in a bigger yarding of 21,500 lambs.
There were no sales above $243 this week, and it appeared with less weight on offer in the heavy categories, rates declined.
The data showed a drop of $9-$14 for the heaviest young lambs.
Prices ranged from $174-$240 to average 712c/kg.
The National Livestock Reporting Service (NLRS) said the main runs of good heavy trade weight lambs were making from $165-$182, averaging 730-756c/kg.
The highlight of the Bendigo market was the mutton sale, with exporters driving the sale across a reduced yarding.
There were price gains of up to $20, with the best lines of Merino ewes and wethers making 620-670c/kg.
Trade sheep sold at $104-$166.
There was one sale at $245 at Corowa in southern NSW on Monday, and the NLRS quoted the market firm in carcase weight terms.