LAMB prices generally improved for reduced offerings on AuctionsPlus last week.
After the previous week’s increased offerings, AuctionsPlus said its weekly commercial sheep and lamb listings last week dropped 37 percent week-on-week to 42,524 head.
The decline in listings for this time of the year followed similar trends in the previous two years, where listings for the same week were back 23pc week-on-week, the online marketplace said.
Average prices increased in four of five lamb categories last week for the smaller offerings, while clearance rates were mixed. Joined ewe listings remain in short supply, while unjoined offerings and demand increased, AuctionsPlus said.
The largest category for the week was crossbred lambs, up 32pc to 10,059 head. They sold from $90-$165 and averaged $140, up $4, with continued buyer interest lifting the clearance rate to 73pc by late Thursday. At St Arnaud in Victoria, 297 mixed sex White Suffolk/Merino cross suckers weighing 40kg lwt sold for $156/head.
The offering of 9367 Merino wether lambs was 70pc down on the previous week. Strong post-sale negotiations following the close of the Tuesday sale lifted the clearance rate from 27pc to 83pc by late Thursday, for an average price of $120, up $8. At Blanchetown in South Australia, 475 wether lambs weighing 35kg lwt sold for $116/head to a Victorian buyer.
Merino ewe lamb listings lifted by 57pc week-on-week to 1645 head. The sale clearance rate of just 9pc rose to 51pc by Thursday, with an price of $162, reflecting the impact of a selective market, AuctionsPlus said.
AuctionsPlus sold 67pc of the 3407 first cross ewe lambs offered, up from 42pc in the Tuesday sale, for an average price of $198. The top price of $241 was paid for 290 ewe lambs at Gilgandra, NSW, weighing 55kg lwt.
Joined ewe listings remain scarce, typical of listings at this time of the year, AuctionsPlus said. Of the 3499 joined ewes offered, the 829 scanned first cross ewes was the largest category. These sold to an 83pc clearance rate. Prices for the category averaged $265, steady on last week. A subdued listing of scanned in-lamb Merino ewes – 519 head — sold to strong buyer demand, with all selling, for an average price of $182, up $8.
The 13,455 unjoined ewes made up for 32pc of the total weekly sheep and lamb offering. Prices and clearance rates for the categories were mixed, as buyers approached the sale with cautious mindsets, AuctionsPlus said.
Merino ewe hoggets registered the largest offering for the unjoined categories, with 4575 head selling to strong demand and post-sale negotiations lifting the clearance rate to 85pc, after a 58pc was sold in the sale. Prices ranged from $120-$302, to average $203, back $32. At St George in Queensland, 330 22-23 month-old unjoined ewes weighing 52kg lwt sold for $180 to a NSW buyer.
The offering of first cross ewes rose 43pc to 4543 head. AuctionsPlus said prices were impacted by selective buying and averaged $254, back $48. Post-sale negotiations lifted the ultimate clearance rate from a subdued 25pc to 43pc. At Collie in NSW, 133 12-12 month-old first cross ewes weighing 69kg lwt made $300.
Note: Prices as at 5pm, Thursday 15th September 2022