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First cross and Merino ewe lamb prices lift online

Sheep Central, February 28, 2022

These September-October 2021 drop Merino lambs sold online for $151 at Tooraweenah in central west NSW last week.

MERINO, first cross and shedding breed ewes attracted the strongest competition in a larger AuctionsPlus offering last week.

Online sheep and lamb numbers increased 18 percent to 134,274 head – the largest weekly commercial offering since December 2021.

AuctionsPlus said the increased supply of joined and unjoined grown ewes was matched with sustained restocker demand, while lamb categories experienced an overall dip in clearance rates.

The 71,303 lambs met mixed results, with three of the six key categories averaging prices higher week-on-week. Notable reductions in clearance rates were registered for the two largest categories, with only 57pc of the crossbred lambs and 59pc of the Merino wethers finding new homes.

Lambs grown to heavier weights were prominent across the offering, with most listings coming from western Queensland, central western New South Wales and south-west Victoria, AuctionsPlus said.

Crossbred lamb number lifts 72pc

The number of crossbred lambs rose 72pc to total 23,778 head. The average price for the category slipped $7 to $154, with the increased offering sparking a drop in clearance rates. Two large lines of 6-7 month-old Cashmore Poll Dorset/composite mixed sex suckers weighing 32.6kg liveweight totalling 1800 head at Weerite, Victoria, made $149.

The number of Merino wether lambs rose to 22,469. The clearance rate dropped, but prices remained robust to average $136, up $4. The average price for the 2181 Merino ewe lambs increased $26 to $289/head, with high demand pushing the clearance rate to 90pc. Topping the Merino ewe category at $220, was a line of 135 May/June 2021 drop Poll Merino lambs at Wirrabara, South Australia, that averaged 40kg liveweight.

The average price for the 9003 first cross ewe lambs offered rose $28 to $257, but only 39pc sold.

The 28,926 joined ewes made up 22pc of the total offering. The 11,165 scanned in-lamb Merino ewes averaged $268/head, back $9, with a 50pc clearance rate.

The 5364 joined Merino ewes averaged $230, up $73, erasing last week’s drop, with a clearance rate of 77pc.

The 5674 joined shedding breed ewes averaged $361, up $106. From Morvern, Queensland, A line consisting of 850 12-13 month-old Dorper ewes averaging 36.7kg sold for $225 to a Victorian buyer.

Unjoined ewe categories accounted for 23pc of the offering this week. The number of Merino ewes rose by 86pc to 18,418 head. The increased supplies in the category failed to dampen prices, which averaged $199, up $17, although only 68pc sold. A line of 990 six year-old Poll Merinos weighing 61kg at Bollon, Queensland, made $178.

NOTE: Prices as at 5pm, Thursday 24th February 2022

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