UNPARALLELED demand for scanned in-lamb ewe replacements drove prices to a new record of $446 for first cross ewes on AuctionsPlus last week.
A Rodwells Benalla client paid the highest price for commercial ewes in AuctionsPlus history for 81 13-15 month-old early November shorn first cross ewes that all scanned with multiple foetuses.
Prices for young scanned in-lamb Merino ewes also soared this week, with a line making $348.
Rodwells Benalla agent Dale Buitenhuis bought the record-priced first cross ewes from Riverina Irrigation & Development for a Katamatite district prime lamb producer and also paid $384 for 149 single scanning ewes from the same flock for a Benalla client.
He said the high scanning result for the record-priced ewes was a factor in their purchase. The ewes weighed 65.8kg, were mostly score 3 and 4 in condition and due for a July-August lambing to White Suffolk rams. The ewes were by Womboota Super Border rams out of Bronte Merino ewes from Hay.
“They were pretty handy top of the range type ewes and that 200 percent lambs (scanned), so we work on marking 170pc of lambs off them at $200 each.
“We plan to have $340 worth of lambs gone off them by Christmas time so that gives us a big rebate and leaves us with a young ewes that owes us not much over $100,” Mr Buitenhuis said.
With those lambing results he didn’t believe the multiple-scanning ewes were dear.
“With that rebate coming back in six months’ time, the sheep aren’t going to owe us a lot of money.”
Mr Buitenhuis said good scanned ewes were getting scarce and the region has had good rains.
“It’s probably had the best autumn break that we’ve ever had – we’ve had growth rates in feed like the spring time basically.”
Rodwells Deniliquin agent Geoff McCallum said he was surprised at the $62 gap in price between the ewes that scanned with multiples and the singles, but he considered the size of the $446 line probably helped them.
But he said heavy crossbred ewes have made $250-$270 as mutton for processors, and this would make it easier to replace with ewes at a $446 price tag. He said the demand for scanned ewes at the moment is “unparalleled”, backed by good rains “everywhere”.
“Blokes will tell you it’s been better, but they just can’t tell you when, for this time of year.”
First cross ewe prices increased an average of $4 to $362, as the AuctionsPlus offering sold from $215 to $446. A line of ewes scanned in-lamb to White Suffolk rams at Cowra, NSW, sold for $443. The 1.5-2 year-old ewes weighed 68kgs.
First cross ewe lamb prices also increased, with the online offering last week making $186 to $352, to average $280, up $14. The top price was paid for 140 unjoined 11-12 month-old ewe lambs offered by G.R. & D.E. Wright at Trundle, NSW. The lambs weighed 53kgs. At nearby Nevertire, NSW, a line of unjoined May-June 2019 drop first cross ewe lambs weighing 44kgs sold for $314.
AuctionsPlus sheep numbers bounce back
AuctionsPlus last week offered 95,151 sheep and lambs, 10,000 head more than the previous week.
Most of the offering came from south-west Victoria and western Queensland, as producers looked to make way for crops and capitalise on the current market.
Most stock categories experienced dearer price trends as restocker demand continued.
Central west New South Wales remained the most dominant purchasing region. AusctionsPlus said an excellent start to the season and a promising outlook heading into winter led toh 22,595 head returning to the region last week.
Merino ewe hoggets sell to $280
Merino ewe lambs sold from $112 to $245 to average $210, back $12. The top price was paid for 57 April-May 2019 drop Genanegie blood Merino ewe lambs offered by K.M. & L.E. Swain from Burrumbuttock, NSW. The lambs weighed 59kgs and had a 4-5cm fleece. At Lameroo in South Australia, 235 April-June 2019 drop Merino ewe lambs sold for $239. The lambs weighed 48kgs and carried a 2.5cm fleece. They sold to a Victorian buyer at Stawell.
Merino ewe hoggets sold from $211 to $280 to average $211, $11 lower. The top price was paid for 50 19-20 month-old Cottage Park blood ewes from M. and J. Pendergast at Cooma, NSW. The hoggets weighed 65kgs and carried a 5-6.25cm fleece.
Prices for young Merino ewes soar to $348
Prices soared for young 2-24 year-old Merino ewes on AuctionsPlus last week. They made from $185 to $348 and averaged $274, up $51. The top price was achieved by 161 3-4 year-old Kerin Poll blood Merino scanned 139pc in-lamb to Poll Merino lambs from Gordan Welsh Pty Ltd at Warren, NSW. The mid-October shorn ewes weighed 62kgs and sold to a NSW buyer at Gundaroo in the Monaro district. At Willaura in Victoria, 135, 3 year-old late April shorn Stud Park South blood Merino ewes scanne din-lamb to Poll Dorset rams sold for $328. The Edgarely ewes weighed 59kgs and sold to a Victorian buyer.
Older Merino ewes keenly sought
Proven Merino ewes, 4 years and older, were keenly sought online last week and 80pc of the offering was sold. Prices ranged from $170 to $311 to average $251, up $4.
The top price was paid for 265 5 year-old Cottage Park blood ewes scanned in-lamb to Border Leicester rams from R. & L. & J. Hain at Cooma, NSW. The ewes weighed 74kgs. At Tamworth in NSW, 210 scanned in-lamb mixed age Merino ewes sold for $294. The Pooginook blood ewes weighed 57kgs and were in-lamb to White Suffolk rams.
Strong demand for good Merino wether lambs
AuctionsPlus achieved a 92pc clearance rate for 23,709 Merino wether lambs last week. They made $94 to $205.50 for an average of $155, firm on the previous week. The top price was paid for 640 July-August 2019 drop lambs from Martin Bros Pastoral at Cassilis, NSW. The Severn Park and Mumblebone blood lambs weighed 53kgs and were destined for a Victorian feedlot at Brooklyn. A Brooklyn buyer also paid $173 for 480 August-September drop Merino wether lambs weighing 44kgs from Holbrook in Victoria.
The reduced offering of 6317 Merino wethers sold from $134-$188 to average $166, an increase of $6. The top price was paid for 830 21-22 month-old Wealla blood wether lambs, offered in two runs by Birrark Farming at Condobolin, NSW. The wethers weighed 51kgs and carried a 6.25cm fleece. A line of 34-35 month-old trade wethers weighing 44kgs at Corowa, NSW, sold for $176.
Most WA sheep still heading east
Western Australia offered 9320 head in the commercial sales last week. Most lots sold to strong eastern states’ restocker demand.
Merino ewe lambs sold from $200 to $230 to average $212, $16 dearer. The top price was paid for 751 July-August 2019 drop Merino ewe lambs from F.O. & P.M. House at Gnowangerup. The Barloo blood lambs weighed 47kgs and sold to a SA buyer at Naracoorte. Prices for scanned in-lamb Merino ewes in WA eased $17 to range from $230 to $312 and average $269. At Merriden, 3 year-old scanned in-lamb ewes weighing 73kgs sold for $312 to a NSWQ buyer at Monteagle.
Tasmanian sheep clear to local and mainland buyers
Tasmanian producers offered 1703 sheep and lambs online last week and these all sold to local and mainland buyers. Ewe lambs made from $180 to $186, with the top price being paid for a line of August-October 2019 drop ewe lambs at Tingal. The lambs weighed 41kgs and sold to a Victoria buyer at Ballarat.
Wethers sold from $134 to $182 and averaged $154. The top price was paid by a Tasmanian buyer for a line of August-September 2019 drop Texel wether lambs from Quoiba in in north-west Tasmania. They weighed 52kgs.
Store lamb prices lift
AuctionsPlus’ store lamb offering dropped 1521 head to 8840 last week. Prices increased to range from 353-601c/kg live. Highlights included:
– Feb/Mar 20’ drop – 28kg 1st X Poll Dorset/Merino mixed sex suckers from EUCHAREENA, New South Wales sold for $170 or 601c
– Sept/Oct 19’ drop – 36kg 1st X Poll Dorset/Merino mixed sex lambs from YOUNG, New South Wales sold for $177 or 496c
– Sept/Oct 19’ drop – 35kg 1st X White Suffolk/Merino mixed sex store lambs from HOLBROOK, New South Wales sold for $172 or 494c
– Dec 19’-Jan 20’ drop – 40kg 2nd X Poll Dorset mixed sex suckers from GRENFELL, New South Wales sold for $194 or 491c
– Aug/Sept 19’ drop – 35kg 1st X Composite mixed sex store lambs from GLENBURN, Victoria sold for $163 or 471c