CLEARANCE rates improved for some AuctionsPlus online sheep and lamb categories last week as sellers considered the approach of Winter.
The national online market for sheep and lambs was largely stronger this week, assisted by a 9 percent decline in throughput to 65,246 head.
AuctionsPlus said some patchy, but welcome falls early in the week, along with the first real cold snap of the year through southern regions all influenced actions within the market, with first cross ewe lambs and Merino ewe lambs dearer than the previous week.
One of the features for this week’s sale was a return to some very high clearance rates for the larger lamb categories, with reports indicating that sellers were keen to lock in deals and offload numbers heading into the second half of Autumn.
Merino wether lambs registered a 93pc clearance rate for the 12,396 head offered, while crossbreds (5832 head) and shedding lines (1176 head) recorded clearance rates of 95pc and 94pc, respectively. The average price for the shedding lines finished up $13 at $239, and Merino wether lambs averaged $141, up $1. The average price for crossbred lambs was steady at $166.
Clearance rates for ewe lambs drop
In contrast to the above categories, AuctionsPlus said the clearance rate for future breeder ewe lambs was significantly lower, at 41pc for first cross ewe lambs and 65pc for Merino ewe lambs. With the average price coincidently up $36 for both categories, it appeared that sellers were happy to set higher reserve levels, with the seasonal conditions enabling flexibility to carry ewe lambs through if required, AuctionsPlus said. Merino ewe lambs finished the week averaging $197, with first cross ewe lambs at $244.
Stronger demand for scanned ewes
Auctionsplus said the interest in ewe lambs was countered by a stronger market for scanned in-lamb ewes, with the main categories registering higher prices for the week, but at mixed clearance rates. With 13,262 scanned in-lamb Merino ewes offered, the average price jumped $17 to $262, with the clearance rate hitting 70pc. For a slightly larger offering of 4944 scanned in-lamb first cross ewes, prices averaged $338 – up $53 on the previous week, with a clearance rate of 53pc.
Mixed results for unjoined ewes
AuctionsPlus said the prices averages for unjoined ewe lines were mixed this week. The 3190 unjoined Merino ewes averaged down $14 to $174, for a 92pc clearance rate. Despite having similar clearance rates for the week at 76pc and 74pc, respectively, the average prices for the composite/other ewe category increased $72 to $252, while shedding breed ewes fell $77 to average $277.
NOTE: Prices are as at 5pm Thursday, 13 May 2021.