DEMAND for lambs and joined ewes improved on AuctionsPlus last week and the offering increased by four percent to 57,624 head.
AuctionsPlus said while mixed results were achieved across the respective categories, confidence and demand within lamb and joined ewe categories lifted week-on-week, largely driven by rainfall and ability for lambs to be finished on feed.
The overall clearance rate of 58pc at the immediate closure of the sheep and lamb sales on Tuesday increased after post-sale negotiations to 79pc; the highest for several weeks.
The National Lamb Sale offered 28,259 head in 108 lots, a 45pc increase week-on-week. Central west New South Wales producers had the largest offering, at 6586 head, and the NSW Riverina region was the largest purchasing region, securing 5589 head. It was a positive week overall for lamb categories, with prices for five of the six categories holding firm or rising on last week, AuctionsPlus said.
Crossbred lamb numbers increased significantly, up 24pc to 13,684 head. AuctionsPlus said the larger offering was well absorbed by the market, with robust buying leading to an 83pc clearance at an average price of $160, $10 up. A highlight was 1000 mixed sex White Suffolk/Merino cross lambs weighing 43kgs lwt in two lots at Manilla, NSW, that made $175/head.
The 8077 Merino wether lambs offered were initially met with selective buying, and 49pc were sold by the closure of the Tuesday lamb sale. Post-sale negotiations lifted the clearance rate to 87pc for a firm average price of $121. At St George in Queensland, 1000 store wether lambs weighing 40kg lwt sold for $132 to a Riverina buyer.
First cross ewe lambs registered the largest average price rise in the lamb categories for the second consecutive week, up a $36 to $238. The reduced offering of 2418 head was met with robust demand to reach a clearance of 72pc, albeit with buyers favouring lines with quality, weight and frame.
Joined ewe listings accounted for 33pc of the total offering last week, with clearance rates for the 18,950 head in the categories varying from 10-100pc. However, post-sale negotiations improved clearance rates in several categories. Only average prices for joined Merino ewes, joined and scanned shedding breed ewes, and ewe-lamb units improved.
The 81pc of 5774 scanned in-lamb Merino ewes made $143-$282 and averaged $225, back $3. The clearance rate rose from 42pc at the end of the National Sheep Sale to 81pc within 48 hours.
Scanned in-lamb first cross ewes also recorded a reduced offering and lower averages this week, with a clearance rate of 34pc for the 2262 head offered indicating reduced demand. They made $202-$308 to average $250, back $51.
The 5507 scanned in-lamb composite/other breed ewes accounted for 10pc of the total weekly throughput. The average price for the category eased by $19 to $265, for a strong clearance of 87pc. Highlights were two lines of scanned in-lamb 2-6 year-old Poll Dorset weighing 79kg lwt at Hamilton in Victoria that sold to a NSW buyer at Wagga Wagga for $330, $80 above their reserve price.
The clearance rates for the 7930 unjoined ewes listed varied from 34-66pc. AuctionsPlus sold 49pc of the 3068 unjoined Merino ewes for $100-$206 for an average of $157, up $36. The 1830 unjoined Merino ewe hoggets offered followed a similar path, averaging $184, up $6 on last week.
NOTE: Prices as at 5pm, Thursday 12th May 2022