Lambs and Merino ewes help set AuctionsPlus record

Sheep Central, October 18, 2021

These mid-September shorn 15-16 month-old Grasmere blood Merino ewes sold for $453 for a Cootamundra, NSW, vendor on AuctiuonsPlus last week.

AUCTIONSPLUS last week listed its largest commercial sheep and lamb offering to date — 164,375 head, boosted by big numbers of crossbred, Merino wether and ewe lambs, and unjoined Merino ewes.

The record online offering was 22 percent above the previous weeks’ offering and 166pc above the corresponding week in 2020.

New South Wales offered 38pc of the total catalogue, while South Australia registered a large surge in numbers listed online, offering 59,173 head, or for 36pc of the week’s listings.

The South Australian offering included 19,426 crossbred lambs and 10,452Merino ewe lambs.

“The large influx of South Australian lambs stems from reports of the spring flush running 4-6 weeks behind, which is delaying weight gain and the arrival of heavier new season lambs on the market,” AuctionsPlus said.

Mixed results were seen across the six lamb categories, with the new season lamb offering totalling 102,704 head. Crossbred lambs made up 25pc of the category and Merino wether lambs 18pc, and clearance levels were robust as prices increased for the third consecutive week. The Merino wether lamb clearance rate dropped to 82pc; however, demand continued to underpin strong prices, and the category’s average price rose $4 to $147.

The offering of first cross ewe lambs rose 48pc to 13,172 head. The clearance level reduced slightly to 80pc, and the average price fell $35 to $274/head. The top price for the category was $366/head for 115 April/May 2021 drop lambs weighing 48.4kg liveweight from central west NSW.

The number of Merino ewe lambs jumped an astounding 443oc, as the South Australian lambs hit the market, accounting for 90pc of the category. Despite the category easing considerably in $/head terms, to average $163/head, c/kg prices held firm at 596c/kg – up 9c/kg, indicative of the much lighter SA offering of lambs across the category, AuctionsPlus said. The clearance level increased to 92pc for the category. Most of the South Australian offering was purchased by interstate buyers – including 68pc into key NSW restocking regions including the central west and northern tablelands, and 28pc into Victoria.

Joined ewes remained a small portion of the total offering last week, accounting for just 3pc of online listings. Scanned in-lamb Merino ewes totalled 1621 head and averaged $265/head, down $34, with a stronger weekly clearance of 89pc.

Unjoined Merino ewe hoggets accounted for 13pc of the offering, with numbers increasing by 54pc from the previous week. While the clearance for the category remained low at 43pc, the category averaged dearer this week at $290/head – up $16, indicating strong competition for selected quality lines. Older unjoined Merino ewes totalled 13pc of the offering, up 30pc from the previous week. Quality lines were hotly contested and the category averaged $225/head – up $46.

NOTE: Prices as at 5pm, Thursday 14th October, 2021


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