LAMB forward contract rates of 360c/kg have drawn a mixed reactions from producers.
This week South Australian processor T&R Pastoral released forward contract for lambs delivered in January, offering 360c/kg.
However the price is below other contracts offered by Australia's largest meat processor Swift Australia earlier this season.
Those contracts - paying 380c/kg - filled quickly, as have those reportedly offered by Coles at 400c/kg.
A spokesman for Coles told The Weekly Times the supermarket did not discuss prices offered to individual clients.
T&R Pastoral Victorian livestock manager Steve Chapman said that while producers would probably like to see a higher offer on the table, the 360c/kg price for lambs was 30c/kg above current hook prices and ahead of saleyard rates.
"People probably expect more, but the price is realistic of the global returns out there for lamb," he said.
He said T&R had backed away from the "open slather contracts of previous years that had longer supply dates, and would review its position after the current offer closed in a week".
Last summer, T&R Pastoral did not offer forward contracts for January delivered lambs.
In 2010, producers were offered 460c/kg for January-delivered lambs to compete with the high saleyard prices at that time.
Mr Chapman said T&R Pastoral was confident the deal would attract good support from the local catchment area, with higher freight costs from producers situated further afield taking the gloss off the offer.
The contract is for crossbred lambs weighing 18-32kg carcass weight, and 320c/kg for Merinos.
They must be delivered to the Murray Bridge, South Australia, abattoir during the first fortnight of January.
They are also offering forward contracts of up to 180c/kg for mutton.
Both the lamb and mutton contracts have a 50c/kg price penalty for extra-heavy weights that break the 32kg carcass limit.
Elders Bendigo livestock manager Nigel Starick said no one knew whether to sign contracts or not.
"Some producers might take some to hedge their bets," he said.
Mr Starick said southwest producers would probably sign up.
"You would want to hedge your bets but you would like to think the general market will be about this rate in January, if that is what the processors are offering," he said.