Lamb prices improve in steady AuctionsPlus offering

Sheep Central, February 13, 2023

DEMAND remained strong for crossbred and Merino lambs in a steady online offering on AuctionsPlus last week.

AuctionsPlus commercial sheep and lamb listings remained steady on last week, with 87,171 head offered across the weekly sales – up 1 percent on the previous week, but still down 7pc on the corresponding week in 2022.

Lambs continue to dominate the offering, with the National Lamb Sale offering 45,204 head offered across 146 lots. Prices lifted across the lamb categories, with three of the six lamb categories improving week-on-week, with clearance rates also receiving a boost.

Crossbred lambs registered a 3pc decline in listings at 17,982 head. Demand remained strong for the category, with an 87pc clearance, up from 85pc the week before. Prices for the category were impacted by weight and quality, ranging from $71-$146, to average $115, up $4. At Everton in Victoria, 213 Poll Dorset cross mixed sex April/May 2022 drop lambs weighing 42kg lwt made $137.

Merino wether lambs experienced a sharp contraction to 9,958 head, back 32pc. The decreased offering boosted the clearance rate for the category, reaching 95pc late Thursday up from 63pc at the immediate conclusion and 46pc last week. The average price rose $10 to $89 and they sold to a top of $121. At Conargo in New South Wales, two lines of 425 June/July 2022 drop store wether lambs, weighing 44kg lwt, returned $107 and $109. Merino ewe lambs continue to remain in short supply, with 397 head offered for the week.

First cross ewe lambs registered a large spike in numbers – up 71pc to total 11,641 head. Clearance rates for the category remained subdued, with the large offering registering a 37pc clearance late Thursday up from 19% at the immediate close of sale and up from last week’s 18pc. Prices for the category were broad, highlighting the continued impact of selective buying, as producers look to secure certain genetics and types, ranging from $95-$234/head, to average $138/head – easing $41 on last week. A large line of 500 Jul/Aug 22’ drop Border Leicester/Merino ewe lambs from Walgett, NSW, weighing 40kg lwt returned $140/head.

Shedding breed lambs sold to a 90pc clearance up from 84pc at the immediate close of sale, the highest across the lamb categories, for the 885 head offered. Prices ranged from $75 to $130, to average $104/head – easing $19 on last week. At Roma in Queensland, 150 Dorper Aug/Oct 22’ drop store wether lambs weighing 31kg lwt returned $93/head.

Composite/other breed lambs registered a 6,915 head offering – up 29pc. The increased offering failed to dampen demand, with clearance reaching 94pc up from 72pc at the immediate close of sales and last week’s 76pc clearance, while prices averaged $121/head – up $4. From Glenburn, Victoria, a line of 650 Aug/Sep 22’ drop Composite mixed sex store lambs, weighing 42kg lwt returned $125/head.

Sheep numbers eased 5pc on last week, with 40,108 head split across two sales. A large offering of older Merino wether lambs hit the market this week, with numbers more than doubling last week’s offering. Non-Station mated ewes continue to dominate sheep numbers, accounting for 58pc of the sheep offering, while joined ewe numbers eased 11pc on last week, to total 11,580 head. After last week’s improved results, joined ewe categories saw mixed pricing and clearance rates this week, while non-station mated ewes saw prices rise across three of the four categories.

SIL Merino ewes were the largest joined ewe category for the third consecutive week, with 3,836 head selling to a 55pc clearance – up from 48pc at the immediate close of sale. Prices for the category rose $20 on last week, to average $195/head. At Mungindi in Queensland, 615 Merino ewes aged 19-20-months, weighing 59kg lwt and SIL to White Suffolk rams returned $222/head.

SIL first cross ewes sold to strong demand, with the 2,102 head offering reaching a 92pc clearance. Prices were broad ranging, from $152-$280, to average $219/head – up $10. The broad range in prices highlights the same story as first cross ewe lambs, with producers looking for certain genetics and types. At Avenue Range in South Australia, two lines of 254 Border Leicester/Merino ewes aged 4.5-years, weighing 77kg lwt and SIL to Poll Dorset rams returned $230/head.

NSM Merino ewe hoggets had a total of 7,425 head offered across the category, with post-sale negotiations lifting clearance rates from 25% at the immediate conclusion of sales to 51pc late Thursday – up from 22pc last week. The average price for the category rose $26 to $155/head. At Cooma in NSW, two lines of 205 15-16 month-old Merino ewes, weighing 54kg lwt returned $244 and $246/head. NSM Merino ewes averaged $148/head this week – lifting $46. The 6,707 head offered sold to a 64pc clearance. A line of 220 Poll Merino ewes rising five-years at Serpentine in Victoria, weighing 69kg lwt returned $135/head.

Shedding breed ewes registered an increase in their average price of $24 to $212/head across the 2413 head offered – selling to a 51pc clearance up from 39pc at the immediate close of sales. At Deniliquin in NSW, 104 3.3-4.5 year-old Ultrawhite ewes weighing 55kg lwt, made $251/head – $111 above reserve, with a buyer in Victoria.

This week’s large offering of Merino wethers, saw listings for the category rise 316pc, with 2348 head offered. They sold to a top of $121 and averaged $94, easing $14. Post-sale negotiations following the conclusion of the sale helped lift clearance rates to 45pc late Thursday up from 25pc at the immediate close of sales. At Connewirricoo in Victoria, 370, 21-22 month-old Merino wethers, weighing 56kg lwt returned $121/head.

Note: Prices as at 5pm Thursday, 9th February 2023.

Source – AuctionsPlus.


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