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AuctionsPlus sheep and lamb offering surges to new 2022 peak

Sheep Central, November 21, 2022

AUCTIONSPLUS sheep and lamb listings surged 74 percent to 147,588 head last week, the largest commercial offering so far in 2022.

Confidence in the sheep and lamb market was tested, as the large offering was met with selective buying and softer clearance rates, AuctionsPlus said.

Post-sale negotiations played a key role in raising overall clearance rates in the 48 hours following last Tuesdays’ commercial sales. The ongoing impacts from widespread flooding in key sheep and lamb regions weighed heavily on demand, with prices across most categories easing from the previous week, AuctionsPlus said.

Accounting for 63% of the weekly offering, National Lamb Sale listings totalled 93,552 head. Offered across two sales, the bulk of the offering came from the southern regions with Southwest Victoria offering 18,844 head, followed by lower south-east SA with 10,032 head. Purchases on the other hand were dominated by NSW regions, with the Riverina purchasing 15,661 head, followed by S.W. Victoria (5,709 head) and Central West NSW (5,278 head). The increased offering saw only ewe lamb categories experience price rises week-on-week, while clearance rates across all categories were subdued.

Crossbred lamb numbers rose 115%, with the 54,726 head offering the largest across the lamb categories. Prices for the category averaged $129/head, back $6 on last week, while clearance rates felt the impact of a softer market – reaching only 14% at the immediate close of sales. Post-sale negotiations following the auction saw clearance rates rise to 38% for the category. From Kingscote, SA, a line of 540 White Suffolk/Merino mixed sex store lambs, weighing 41kg lwt returned $138/head to a buyer in SA.

The Merino wether lamb offering saw 19,223 head listed – a 121% rise. Experiencing similar market sentiment to the crossbred lamb category, prices dropped $1 on last week, to average $114/head. Clearance rates reached a subdued 22% at the immediate close of sale, rising to 38% over the following 48 hours. From Conargo, NSW, a line of 700 Merino wether lambs, weighing 45kg lwt sold to a buyer in Victoria for $131/head.

A smaller offering of Merino ewe lambs in comparison to other key lamb categories helped lift buyer competition, with the 2,922 head averaging $191/head – rising $85, while clearance reached 51%. From Birchip, Victoria, two lines of 350 Merino ewe lambs weighing 67kg lwt, returned $260 and $256/head, respectively to buyers in SA.

First cross ewe lambs registered a 78% rise to 11,662 head. Clearance rates followed the trend across other categories, finishing the auction at a subdued 26% then rising to 40% following post-sale negotiations. Prices for the category ranged between $139-$314/head, to average $222 – up $9 on last week. Two lines of 210 Border Leicester/Merino ewe lambs from Narromine, NSW, weighing 47kg lwt, returned $296/head to buyers in NSW.

Shedding breed lambs registered the largest weekly rise in listings across lamb categories, up 228%, with 2,038 head offered. The sharp rise in listings was absorbed well as clearance rates reached 88%– the highest clearance across all categories. Prices ranged from $98 to $169, to average $149/head – back $19. From Augathella, Queensland, two lines of 600 Dorper store wether lambs, weighing 47kg lwt, sold for $169 and $168/head, remaining with buyers in Queensland.

Offered across two sales, last week’s National Sheep offering totalled 52,308 head – up 35%. Offered across 302 lots, the sales registered a lift in joined ewe numbers, accounting for 7% of the total offering – up from 2% last week. An even spread of offerings across NSW, Victoria and SA saw Central West NSW secure the top listing region with 7,048 head, followed by West Pastoral Area SA (6,900 head) and Northwest Victoria (5,189 head). Top purchasing regions were dominated by southern areas, with the NSW Riverina securing 4,401 head, followed by Lower Southeast SA, with 3,118 head.

With a 732% rise in listings to total 8,185 head, SM Shedding breed ewes dominated joined ewe listings for the week. Reaching a 28% clearance, the offering averaged $239/head – easing $77 on last week. From Glendambo, SA, two lines of 600 White Dorper ewe lambs April/Jul 22’ drop, weighing 32kg lwt, station mated to Dorper and White Dorper rams, returned $200/head to buyers in NSW.

Unjoined ewes continue to make up most of the sheep offering, accounting for 44% of total sheep and lamb numbers. NSM Merino ewe hoggets again saw the largest offering, with 12,012 head – steady on the previous week. Prices for the category averaged $207/head, back $23, with clearance rates reaching 19%. Returning the top price for the category was a line of 110 Poll Merino ewes from Inglewood, Victoria. Aged 17-months-old and weighing 63kg lwt, the ewes sold for $302/head – $52 above reserve.

NSM Merino ewe numbers rose by 78% to 11,194 head. Clearance rates reached 42% following post sale negotiations which saw overall clearance rise from 28% recorded on Tuesday. Prices for the category averaged $198/head – easing $39 on last week. From Tambar Springs, NSW a line of 215 Merino ewes aged two-four-years, weighing 58kg lwt, returned $200/head.

Unjoined Composite/other breed ewe listings rose by 175% to total 6,782 head. With clearance rates following the similar trend to other unjoined categories- reaching 17% at the close of sales, rising to 63% in the 48 hours following the sale. Prices for the category averaged $218/head- $3 higher on last week.

Source – AuctionsPlus.

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