In keeping with the 50-year anniversary celebrations of the first moon landing, lamb prices are continuing to soar further into outer space.
The latest lamb-price "rocket launch" happened at Forbes saleyards yesterday when 11-month-old Suffolk cross lambs set a new national record of $355.
In contrast, when American astronaut Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon Dorset cross suckers were topping at $7.74 a head at Sydney's Homebush markets and heavy trade Merino wethers were fetching $4.50.
This week's record breakers were offered by Chris and Sharon Petropoulos, Forbes, and were sold by Randal Grayson, Forbes Livestock and Agency Company.
The lambs weighed about 45kg carcase weight and were bought by major processor and exporter, Thomas International Foods.
Red hot demand and a serious supply shortage have squirted lamb values into the stratosphere and many market observers are wondering when the price ceiling will be reached.
Records have been tumbling at saleyards for the past couple of months with Dubbo recently notching a new top of $349 and Yass at $342.
The previous Australian lamb record had been $354.20 for lambs at Wagga Wagga in June.
At Dubbo the record breaking pen were 83 heavyweight crossbred lambs auctioned by Peter Milling and Company on behalf of Merriwa producers, Ray and Annie Inder.
Prices usually calm down when new-season suckers start to hit the market but volumes this year may not be enough to push prices down significantly.
The benchmark eastern states trade lamb indicator (ESTLI) was sitting at 941c a kg on Tuesday evening, a rise of 75c in the past month and 197c in the past year.
The high prices are tempting for producers in drought-hit areas who can offload breeding sheep for healthy returns rather than continuing the expensive struggle to feed them.
The sheep and lamb slaughter rate across the eastern states last week was a mixed bag with the lamb slaughter up 3pc in Victoria week-on-week to 165,244 but down by 11pc in NSW to 91,893.
The sheep slaughter in Victoria rose 2pc week-on-week to 34,764 but slumped by 55pc in NSW to 21,839.
Overall the lamb slaughter in the eastern states dropped by 7pc to 275,684 while the sheep slaughter sank by 30pc to 64,301.