Lamb prices improve on AuctionsPlus as fewer are offered

Sheep Central, February 20, 2023

These joined 1-2.5 year-old White Dorper ewes sold for $190 on AuctionsPlus at Cobar in New South Wales last week.

LAMB prices either firmed or lifted on AuctionsPlus last week as offerings reduced by up to 56 percent in one case.

AuctionsPlus said weekly commercial sheep and lamb listings eased by 8pc to 80,083 head, 26pc lower than the corresponding week in 2022.

In a change from recent weeks, the sales were dominated by sheep, with the lamb offering experiencing a sharp decline to 33,884 head. The reduced lamb offering coincided with a lift in prices across all categories, while sheep experienced mixed prices and clearances from selective buying.

The 15,496 crossbred lambs offered represented a 14pc drop. The category achieved an 83pc clearance late Thursday, up from 69pc at the immediate conclusion of the auction. AuctionsPlus said prices for the category continue to be impacted by weight and quality, ranging from $62-$151 to average $117, up $3 from the previous week. At Lalbert, Victoria a line of 426 Composite/Merino Jun/Jul 22’ mixed sex trade lambs weighing 45kg lwt, returned the top price for the category at $151/head.

Merino wether lamb numbers drop

Merino wether lambs experienced a 43pc contraction to 5661 head. AuctionsPlus said the decreased offering boosted the clearance rate for the category, reaching 56pc by late Thursday. Prices held firm to average $89 and up to $138. At Thallon in Queensland, two lines of 420 August/September 2022 drop Poll Merino store wether lambs weighing 33kg lwt sold for $81.

Following three weeks of low offerings, the Merino ewe lamb offering almost quadrupled to 1947 head. AuctionsPlus said the increased offering failed to dampen prices, with the average price lifting $50 to $126. At Lalbert in Victoria, two lines of 245 June/July 2022 drop Merino ewe lambs weighing 35kg lwt made $136 and $135.

The offering of 6615 first cross ewe lambs was 43pc on the previous week. The average price rose $52 to $192, but AuctionsPlus said the subdued clearance rate of 17pc by late Thursday highlighted the continued impact of selective buying as producers look to secure certain genetics and types. At Armatree in NSW, 255 June/July 2022 drop first cross ewe lambs weighing 54kg lwt made $210.

The offering of 3070 composite/other breed lambs was 56pc lower than the previous week. The clearance reached 68pc by late Thursday, up from 43pc at the immediate closure of the sale. Prices ranged from $95-$140 to average $125, up $5. At Tahara in Victoria, 700 July/August 2022 drop composite store wether lambs weighing 41kg lwt sold for $140 to a South Australian buyer.

Online sheep offering lifts 14pc

Sheep numbers rose 14pc to 46,132 head. The biggest increase across sheep categories came from a 64pc lift in joined ewes to 19,001 head. The increased offering resulted in mixed clearance rates across all categories as buyer’s decisions were impacted by genetics and quality, while prices rose for the majority of categories, AuctionsPlus said.

The number of scanned in-lamb Merino ewes offered last week rose 127pc to 8708 head. The increased offering resulted in a subdued clearance at the immediate close of sale at 28pc, but rebounded to 54pc by late Thursday, AuctionsPlus said. The average prices for the category eased $37 to $165. At Peake in South Australia, 405 rising six year-old Merino ewes weighing 74kg lwt and scanned in lamb to White Suffolk rams sold for $185.

Scanned in-lamb ewes sell to solid demand

Scanned in-lamb first cross ewes continue to sell to solid demand, and 67pc of the 2070 head offered sold. Prices ranged from $101-$254 to average $187, down $31. AuctionsPlus said the broad range in prices highlights that producers are looking for certain genetics and types in first cross ewe lambs. At Dubbo in NSW, 296 3-5 year-old ewes weighing 66kg lwt and scanned in-lamb to Poll Dorset and Dorset Horn rams made $174.

The offering of scanned in-lamb shedding breed ewes more than tripled to 2301 head. The clearance reached 66pc by late Thursday, up from 43pc at the immediate close of sale. The average price rose $47 to $203/head. At Longford in Victoria, 248 2.5 year-old White Dorper ewes weighing 65kg lwt and scanned in-lamb to Australian White rams sold for $272 to a northern NSW buyer.

AuctionsPlus offered 5400 unjoined Merino ewe hoggets, 27pc fewer than the previous week. Prices ranged from $90-$204 to average $161, up $11. The clearance rate reached 45pc by late Thursday. A line of 145 Poll Merino ewes aged 16-17 months weighing 51kg lwt at Knowsley in Victoria sold for $160. Unjoined Merino ewes averaged $91, easing $50. Auctionsplus sold 47pc of 8342-head offering. At Tara in Queensland, 203 3-4 year-old Merino ewes weighing 57kg lwt sold for $90.

The average price for the 2608 shedding breed ewes offered rose $77 to $289. AuctionsPlus sold 53pc, up from the 51pc sold the previous week. A line of 53 July-August 2022 drop Australian White ewe lambs at Millicent in South Australia weighing 38kg lwt sold for $310, $175 over their reserve.

AuctionsPlus’ offering of Merino wethers continued to rise week-on-week with 3565 head listed, up 52pc. They sold to $156 and averaged $129, up $35. The clearance rate reached 39pc late Thursday. At West Wyalong in NSW, 500 1.5-2.5 year-old Merino wethers weighing 58kg lwt made $156.

Source: AuctionsPlus.


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