SHEEP and lambs offered on AuctionsPlus more than doubled last week as dry seasonal conditions continued across the eastern states.
Online sheep numbers increased to 56,241 head, 29,950 more than the previous week and ewes dominated the offerings, accounting for well over half the numbers.
AuctionsPlus said most ewes were Merino and these were highly sought after last week.
Merino ewe lambs averaged $60, with Blythvale blood future breeders at Streatham in Victoria selling for the top price of $65. Young ewes sold from $65-$160. A large line of recently shorn Eastville Park blood ewes at Bridgwater on Loddon in Victoria scanned in lamb to White Suffolk rams sold for the top price.
Proven Merino breeders averaged $129, with four year-old Lewisdale and Eastville Park blood ewes at Mystic Park in Victoria and scanned in lamb to Border Leicester rams made the top price of $160. Slightly younger Woodpark blood ewes at Holbrook, New South Wales, joined to Merino rams also sold for $160. Older ewes ranged from $40 up to $112 for 5-6 year-old Uardry blood ewes at Merriwagga, NSW, that were scanned to Poll Dorset rams.
Merino wether lamb prices slightly declined from last week, ranging from $40-$83 to average $67. The top-priced wethers hailed from three different locations over New South Wales and Victoria. These included 33kg lwt CentrePlus and Ridgway blood lambs from Dunkeld, Victoria, with a 7.5cm skin; 34kg Glenlea and Ridgway blood lambs from Kyalite, NSW, with a 4cm staple and 38kg Rossmore and Bungulla blood lambs from Burren Junction, NSW, with a 6.5cm fleece.
Store lamb prices remained steady from last week. Lambs weighing under 30kg lwt sold from $55.50-$87 to average $69 or 307c/kg lwt, 31-35kg lambs made $82.50-$96.50 to average $106.50 or 262c/kg lwt, 36-40kg lines ranged from $80.50-$107.50 to average $95 or 256c/kg and heavy lambs over 40kg made $95-$108 to average $100 or 236c/kg.
Border Leicester/Merino ewes were the stand-out category last week, with a large flock dispersal of ewes at Wallinduc in Victoria topping the market in every category and all selling for an average of $47 above their reserve. The younger ewes attracted the strongest restocker competition, selling for $181, while the 3.5 year-olds made $173 and the 5 year-olds sold for $138. All ewes were scanned in lamb to Poll Dorset rams.
AuctionsPlus has announced it is adding more structure around auction times. Eastern states cattle and the Tuesday and Thursday sheep sales will run for a minimum of 40 minutes. From the 40-minute mark, the timer controls the auction – if there is no bidding activity on any lot within 20 seconds, the sale will close.
National lamb indicator firm to lower
After Friday’s saleyard sales, the NLRS quoted the Eastern States Daily Indicators for most sheep and lamb categories as unchanged or lower. Only the indicators for Merino lambs and mutton lifted.
The lamb ESDIs, their daily and weekly changes, were: restocker 532c/kg, down 9 cents, down 14c; Merino 469c/kg, up 2c, down 2c; light 501c/kg, down 3c, down 12c; trade 517c/kg, no change, down 6c; heavy 504c/kg, down 1c, down 13c. The national trade lamb indicator closed unchanged at 516c/kg and the heavy indice was down 1 cent to 503c/kg.
The national and ESDI for mutton finished up 1 cents to 310c/kg.
Griffith slaughter lambs $2-$4 cheaper
In New South Wales at the Griffith saleyards on Friday, the National Livestock Reporting Service said agents yarded 12,300 lambs, 3620 more than last week, and 2900 sheep, 81 more.
Lamb quality was very mixed with some good runs of finished and grain-assisted lambs along with the plainer types. Heavy and extra heavy weight lambs were in good supply. The usual buyers competed in a market that held fairly steady for the better lambs, but eased on the plainer types.
Light lambs sold from $94-$105. Trade weights were firm to $2 cheaper at $103-$124. Heavy and extra heavy weight lambs were firm to $4 easier. Heavy lambs sold from $125-$136 and extra heavies made $137-$171. Carcase prices mostly ranged from 475-509c/kg.
The sheep were mostly Merinos. Merino ewes sold from $74-$134. Crossbreds sold from $75-$110. Dorper ewes sold from $84-$110. Merino wethers ranged from $95-$116.
Cowra’s medium and heavy trade lambs sell firm
At the Cowra saleyards on Friday, the agents yarded 9650 lambs, 2700 more than last week, and 2250 sheep, 660 more.
The NLRS said the quality of the heavy well-finished lines was good, while the secondary well-bred lambs were showing signs of the drier conditions. Mainly heavy lambs were penned, along with more secondary trade weights and store lambs. Most of the usual buyers attended and competition was reasonable, resulting in a firm to slightly cheaper market.
Light lambs sold $3 cheaper to processors and averaged $92, while most of the store lambs were $5 cheaper at $73-$94. The better bred secondary trade weights sold to local restockers from $95-$105. Medium and heavy trade weight lambs sold at firm rates and mainly ranged from 470-520c/kg cwt. Most of the better finished heavy trade weights sold from $115-$125. Heavy weight lambs were $1-$4 easier and most made 465-490c/kg. A couple of pens of extra heavy weight lambs sold from $160-$170 with estimated carcase weights of 32-34kg.
Mutton quality was mixed. Light Merino ewes were $7 cheaper and averaged $43. Heavy first cross ewes averaged $89 or 294c/kg. Heavy wethers sold to $108.
Sources: MLA, NLRS, AuctionsPlus.