After hitting a low of 765.8 cents per kilogram carcase weight (cwt) three weeks ago, trade lamb prices have bounced back to 799c/kg cwt.
According to industry specialists higher demand from processors is pushing the price of trade lambs up with a 10 per cent increase in sales as they compete for the seasonally lower supply.
Prices for heavy lambs however are facing increasing pressure as the number of seasonally late lambs arriving on the market amplifies.
Last week heavy lambs fetched 772c/kg, placing them just below the level the same time last year, but way off the mark off their highest price of 983c/kg in August.
And although there is a growing consensus that lamb values will increase later on, it's a while away yet.
But the continual downwards or plateauing movements of the Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator (ESTLI) and the Heavy Lamb Indicator (HLI) for most of the year signalled the market has bucked its normal trend.
Managing director of Mecardo Robert Herrmann said it's rare in its occurrence, but this season the dearest lamb prices were in the height of the spring.
"That is unusual. That time is also usually the peak of supply and we normally see that heavy supply dampening the market," Mr Herrmann said.
"Normally, when we get past Christmas, supply tends to level out a bit and start to decline and markets rise, but this year the industry has done the opposite."
Mr Herrmann said there were reasons for that - lambs weren't quite finished and people had extra feed.
"There is no doubt there was strong demand through the spring period and processors were shovelling out as much lamb and mutton as they could," he said.
"But the season wasn't ideal for lamb growth so there were lambs that weren't quite finished and at the same time there were people with extra feed and producers prepared to put lambs out on feedlots."
That, coupled with a lack of kill space earlier on in the year due to Covid-19 workplace disruptions, has caused an excess of heavier lambs in the market place now.
And as an influx of supply comes through, pressure on the market is mounting.
But Mr Herrmann said there also appears to be a demand shift or dampening.
And he said the same thing is also happening for mutton.
"We think we are still in a rebuilding phase.....the rolling slaughter average is sitting about 8pc of the sheep flock which would mean that we would grow the flock by between three to five per cent this year," he said.
"That tells us that we are not going to see supply flood onto the market anytime soon."
He said an insight into the amount of heavy lambs hitting the market can be seen through the export numbers.
"Numbers into China are down a bit, but they've been diverted across to the US market," he said.
"This is partly because the US has got good demand, but also because the heavy lambs really suit the US - they have built their ideal lamb around a heavier weight."
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