AUCTIONSPLUS’ first week of commercial sheep and lamb sales in 2024 was positive, with all market indicators in the green.
This is now three weeks in a row that the market indicators have been in the green, proving a substantial rebound in sentiment since the lows of mid to late 2023.
Listings was the only indicator that was lacklustre, with a six percent rise on the final sale of 2023 seeing 38,070 head offered, well under the yardings in early December.
Demand for the tight 38,000 head offered last week was very strong, with 87pc securing a buyer as prices lifted substantially on last year. There was an 11pc rise in the AuctionsPlus Restocker Lamb indicator and the crossbred lamb price rose a healthy 28pc.
As shown through the lamb indicators, the lamb market had a particularly strong week, with all but one category lifting in price on the final week of 2023.
Price rises were led by first cross ewe lambs, followed by Merino wether lambs and then crossbred lambs. Demand was very strong for the 23,000 head of lambs offered, with four out of seven lamb categories, admittedly some with low offerings, achieving a 100pc clearance rate. Merino wether lambs in particular were in high demand, with all of the 4932 head cleared, with the average price rising by $26/head.
The sheep market had more volatile results, with a number of categories decreasing in price on the final sale of 2023, and clearance rates recording large spreads, from 15-100pc. Of note were the Merino ewes, with 94pc of the 4231 head offered selling.
Crossbred lambs continued to return strong results, with the 12355 head meeting positive demand and the average price increasing by $22 to $118. There was a healthy 96pc clearance. The top price this week was $158/head, or 363c/kg lwt, paid by a Cowra buyer for 454 mixed sex April/May 2023 drop White Suffolk cross lambs weighing 44kg at Cumnock, New South Wales.
The 4932 Merino wether lambs offered last week were keenly sought by purchasers and all were sold. The average price lifted by $17 to $73. Prices were higher than vendor expectations with the wether lamb lots averaging $17 above the set reserve rates. At Lucindale in South Australia, two even lines of 562 May-June 2023 drop Merino wether lambs weighing 41kg lwt made $118.
Merino ewes were keenly sought, with 94pc of the 4231 head selling, although prices declined by $10 to average $78. At Gilgandra in NSW, 318 2-3 year-old Merino ewes weighing 64kg sold for $138.
Note: Prices as at 5pm Thursday, 11th January 2024
Source – AuctionsPlus.