THE ABSENCE of regular export buyers caused prices for trade lambs to slide $10 to $15 a head at the Warwick sheep sale on Wednesday.
Feeling the pinch the most in Wednesday's yarding of 1768 head was the mutton categories, which took the brunt of the discounted prices as buyers in attendance were selective in their purchases.
Buyers' selectiveness caused the price of lambs returning to the paddock to be back on previous weeks.
TopX stock agent George McVeigh, Warwick, said "the market was fairly cheaper across all sections."
"The good lambs sold to good competition but I thought the mutton market was very cheap," Mr McVeigh said.
"I think the main reason behind that was a lot of the export buyers who usually attend the sale weren't operating and that can make a big difference.
"Store lambs still sold well, but overall I reckon it was back anywhere from $10 to $15, but we are hopeful that those prices will bounce back next week."
Despite trade lamb prices easing, heavy lambs bucked the trend to stay firm if not dearer on recent sales.
Young lambs made up the bulk of Wednesday's yarding, accounting for 1098 head, and ranging in price from a $25/hd low to a top of $215/hd.
Most pens in the category averaged about $165.
It was a similar story in the ewe category as the 309 head yarded for Wednesday's sale ranged in price from $12 to a top of $160 to average about $86.
Old lambs was the next biggest category in terms of numbers with 119 head yarded.
Most pens sold for an average of $158 and ranged in price from $58 to a $200 top.
Hogget prices remained strong during Wednesday's sale, with the 107 head on offer ranging in price from $60 to $187 to average $131.
Despite there only being 48 wethers up for bids, prices remained strong across the category ranging from $130 to a $160 top with most pens selling for about $142.
A small offering of 56 rams rounded out Wednesday's sale, reaching a sale high of $250.
The rest of the category ranged from the $250 top to a $50 low with an overall average of $166.
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