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Crossbred and Merino wether lamb prices lift online

Terry Sim, June 27, 2022

These February-March drop first cross ewe lambs sold for $226 at Dubbo, NSW, on AuctionsPlus last week.

CROSSBRED and Merino lamb, and unjoined ewe prices strengthened slightly on AuctionsPlus last week.

But keeping with the trend of recent weeks, average prices for most other lambs and joined ewe categories weakened further. Many lines attracted no bids.

AuctionsPlus commercial sheep and lamb listings increased by 2 percent to 63,914 head.

Crossbred lamb listings continue to strengthen week-on-week, with 10,438 head offered – up 45pc on the previous week. The increased offering eventually achieved a subdued clearance rate of 39pc, up from 29pc at the immediate close of auction. The category’s average price rose $2 to average $149/head.

At Stuart Town in New South Wales, 380 White Suffolk/Merino mixed sex store lambs weighing 43kg liveweight sold for $157/head.

Strong post-sale demand for Merino mixed sex lambs led to a full clearance rate of the 1119 head on offer, climbing from 33pc at auction end on Tuesday. They averaged $124/head.

Merino wether and ewe lamb categories posted reduced offerings this week, of 6782 and 629 head, respectively. Merino wethers registered a subdued 25pc clearance, to average $122/head, up $4. A line of 970 store wether lambs weighing 37kg lwt at Thallon, Queensland, returned $130.

The first cross ewe lamb offering rose 117pc to 5893 head. The clearance rate rose to 52pc by late Thursday and the category averaged $189, back $25. At Dubbo, NSW, 280 first cross ewe suckers weighing 33kg lwt sold for the top price for the category at $226.

Clearance rates were mixed in all the breeding ewe categories, except one. The largest offering for the week was the 11,337 scanned in-lamb Merino ewes, that accounted for 18pc of the week’s total listings. They averaged $209, back $15, and post-sale negotiations pushed the clearance rate to 65pc by late Thursday, up from 43pc at the immediate end of auction. At Willaura North in Victoria, two lines of 434, 3–4 year-old ewes, weighing 52kg lwt, and SIL to Poll Dorset rams, made $286 and $285/head, $101 and $100 over the reserve, respectively.

The 5541 scanned in-lamb first cross ewes offered averaged $288, back $38. With listings up 74pc on the previous week, the category was met with selective buying. This resulted in the clearance rate lifting from 18pc at auction, to 38pc by late Thursday. The top price for the category of $350 was paid for 91 19-21 month-old first cross ewes, weighing 78kg lwt and SIL to Poll Dorset and White Suffolk rams.

Scanned in-lamb composite/other breed ewes achieved the only average price rise in the joined ewe categories, with the 4727 head averaging $255, up $35. At Naracoorte in South Australia, 233 composite-first cross 2021 drop ewe lambs weighing 45kg lwt and SIL to White Suffolk rams, made $252.

The 1454 unjoined shedding breed ewes offered averaged $321, up $69. At Wombat in NSW, two lines of 33 2021 drop Australian White ewes weighing 35kg lwt made $505, $205 over reserve.

A small offering of 676 ewes with lambs achieved a 64pc clearance at the immediate closure of sales, averaging $328, up $28. A line of 275 4-8 year-old first cross ewes weighing 60kg lwt with 370 2-11 week-old Poll Dorset cross lambs sold for $326/unit.

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