AVERAGE prices for several Merino and first cross ewe categories dropped on AuctionsPlus last week, although scanned in-lamb Merino ewes lifted in value.
The average price for the largest category, an offering of 16,314 scanned in-lamb Merino ewes, lifted $12 to $254, with the reduced offering making $175 to $371, at a 63pc clearance rate.
The top price was paid for 390 early December shorn 1.5 year-old Glenwood blood poll Merino ewes scanned 100pc in-lamb to White Suffolk rams at Wellington in central-west New South Wales.
Demand for Australian White ewes continued to be strong, with 45 17-18 month-old ewes at Temora, NSW, selling for $453, the top commercial ewe price of the week.
Scanned first cross ewe prices average $38 lower
After a $56 average price jump last week, the mean price for scanned in-lamb first cross ewes fell $38 to $308, from a range of $181 to $436. The top price was paid for 140 2-2.5 year-old mid-January shorn ewes scanned 161pc in-lamb to White Suffolk rams at Cowra in NSW.
First cross ewe lamb prices ranged from $135 to $325 to average $236, down $31, losing most of the previous week’s gains, and the clearance rate fell to 48 percent.
AuctionsPlus said in recent weeks this category has had the lowest clearance rate of all reported lamb categories, despite some significant price movements from week to week, as buyers and sellers continue to remain some distance apart.
The average price for the 14,839 unjoined Merino ewes offered last week fell $11 to $224, with lines making $143 to $320, and 86pc selling.
The 4209 unjoined first cross ewes sold from $145 to $320 and averaged $229, down $30. The category had an 84pc clearance rate.
Prices for crossbred lambs held steady despite the offering lifting 60pc to 11,987, and 90pc were sold. They made from $113 to $196 and averaged $162. Multi-purpose lamb prices averaged $18 higher at $194, within a range of $104-$370, and 87pc of the 8402 head sold.
Auctionsplus said its exclusive sheep and lamb offering fell 5pc to total 118,232 head.
While further good falls of rain through key growing regions over the past week will have maintained production options, it is likely that the continued absence of any scorching summer heat is bringing the most relief to producers, AuctionsPlus said. As expected, quality continues to be above average – a reflection of the season and responsiveness of producers.
Note: all prices reported below are as at the close of reporting of 5pm, Thursday 11 February.