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Buyers apply price pressure in online sheep sales

Sheep Central, April 26, 2022

These mixed sex 41.1kg first cross lambs sold for $150 on AuctionsPlus at Bathurst, NSW, last week.

ALMOST half the sheep and lambs offered on AuctionsPlus remained unsold after sales last week, as demand remained softer despite a smaller offering.

AuctionsPlus said 46,166 commercial sheep and lambs were offered online last week, down 19 percent on the previous week’s offering, with the Easter long weekend the main influence for the reduced numbers.

The 44pc clearance rate registered at the immediate close of Tuesday’s auctions jumped to 51pc in the days following, as post sale negotiations continue to form a large part of transactions in an overall softer market, AuctionsPlus said.

Lamb listings accounted for 40pc of the total offerings, with 18,331 head offered across the six main categories. Prices were mixed with three of the six categories experiencing an increase week-on-week, while post sale negotiations saw clearance rates increase across all but one category.

AuctionsPlus offered 3033 crossbred lambs and those sold averaged $154, down $2. Post-sale negotiations, following a strong auction end clearance rate, highlighted the current demand for the category, with clearance rates finishing at 83pc, up from 76pc post sale.

Both Merino lamb categories registered a price increase, with clearance of the wether and ewe categories also up on last week – aided by post sale negotiations. Merino wether lambs sold from $100-$152 and averaged $132, up $19. About 44pc of 3863 head offered were sold initially, but this rose to 62pc with post-sale negotiations. The small offering of Merino ewe lambs averaged $193, up $37, achieving a 77pc clearance rate.

Shedding breed lambs made up 22 of the lamb offering and made $135-$168, averaging $156, up $18. Composite/other breed ewe lambs averaged $144, down $4. Buyers and sellers made the most of post-sale negotiations, lifting the clearance rate from 88pc at the sale’s end to 96pc by the close of business Thursday.

The 16,059 joined ewes made up 35pc of the total sheep and lamb offering. There was selective buying for the 6264 scanned in-lamb Merino ewes offered, with post-sale negotiations only managing to lift the auction end clearance rate by 1pc to 49pc. Prices ranged from $138-$290 and averaged $214, down $22. Station mated Merino ewes averaged $134 for the 5500 head offered, impacted by the same selective buying.

Only 346 scanned in-lamb shedding breed ewes were offered and they averaged $298, up $74, and achieved a 68pc clearance. Scanned in-lamb composite and other breed ewes recorded the strongest clearance for the joined ewe categories, of 72pc, after post sale negotiations. They sold from $142-$372 and averaged $269, down $15.

Unjoined ewe listings increased to 7936 head, making up 17pc of the weekly offering. Prices and clearance rates across the four categories were again impacted by cautious buying and an overall softer market.

The 884 unjoined Merino ewe hoggets averaged $133, down $63. Post-sale negotiations for the category lifted the clearance rate from 26pc to 37pc. Shedding breed ewes achieved the only price increase for the category, with the 1102 head offered making $259-$300, to average $286, up $94. The 3560 unjoined composite and other breed ewes made up 45pc of the unjoined offering and registering a very low clearance rate, with prices averaging $210.

NOTE: Prices as at 5pm, Thursday 21st April 2022

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