As the global COVID-19 pandemic continues to grow, caution has hit our lamb markets.
The cautiousness was on show last week in all states, causing a price correction across heavy lamb categories and lightweight lambs destined for overseas markets.
But even with the dip in values, the heavier lambs 30 kilograms carcase weight and above, continued to command the most action from buyers.
The shortfall of buyer demand resulted in heavy lambs tumbling $7-$20 a head at Wagga Wagga, NSW.
Trade lambs held their own and prices were generally firm to $3 softer.
The high point of the sale was 22-24kg lambs, when supermarkets regularly paid $218-$252 for the top end to average 954 cents a kilogram cwt.
At Griffith, NSW, on Friday, the market followed the cheaper trends.
The shortage of meat at butcher shops and supermarkets helped cement a floor in trade lambs rates.
There was plenty of argy-bargy from domestic buyers all eager to secure numbers.
Generally, trade lambs across the board were firm to $7 cheaper, to average 949c/kg cwt.
The market for heavy lambs was considerably weaker, with rates falling $7-$18.
The extra heavy lamb quality was outstanding, making from $252-$300, to average 893c/kg cwt.
Bigger numbers of heavy lambs were offered at Bendigo on Monday when agents penned 26,887 lambs and 7780 sheep.
Most of these lambs weighed from 22-30kg carcase weight, according to National Livestock Reporting Service data.
Trade lamb rates averaged $17-$28 lower, with most sales $160-$210 to average 808c/kg cwt.
There was a noticeable drop in buyer competition for heavy export lambs, with rates $17-$28 cheaper.
The better sales of extra heavy lambs fetched from $193-$283, averaging 774c/kg.
There was little interest in restocking lambs at Bendigo, with lambs suitable to turnout or fatten in feedlots selling to weak competition.
Most sales were $20-$46 cheaper, selling at $96-$134.
Meanwhile, mutton sold to erratic price trends as buyers struggled to find a price level for some categories.
Heavy Merino wethers were unchanged, topping at $249.
Heavy Merino ewes were $18-$35 cheaper, averaging 630c/kg cwt.
Trade sheep were in limited supply, making from $102-$212, to average 689c/kg cwt.
Heavy lambs were up to $35 cheaper at Ballarat on Tuesday in a reduced offering of 28,875 head, and the quality was excellent.
While export lambs were cheaper, prices continued to dip as the sale progressed.
Better quality trade lambs were up to $30 cheaper, making from $161-$224.