ONLY Merino categories enjoyed average price increases in online trading on the AuctionsPlus platform last week.
AuctionsPlus said it was another mixed week for its online sheep and lamb markets, as quality continued to play an increasing factor in buyer demand heading into winter.
The online offering of 60,548 was back 7 percent on the previous week, with a sharp fall in the number of scanned in-lamb Merino ewes more than offsetting a jump in composite/other breed lambs.
Average prices of the Merino lamb categories increased, while crossbred and first cross lambs lost ground. Merino ewe lambs, with a 72pc clearance of the 4915 head offered, averaged $38 higher at $235, while Merino wethers edged up $7, to $148 – with an impressive 84pc clearance rate for the 13,324 head offered. The average price for first cross ewe lambs registered the largest decline, dropping $46 to $198, while the composite/other category withstood a significant jump in supplies to only decline $1, to averaging $178.
Scanned Merino ewe numbers drop
AuctionsPlus said the largest supply contraction this week was for scanned in-lamb Merino ewes, with the offerings back 57pc to only 5652 head. Illustrating the back-and-forth market movements of recent weeks was the $17 drop in the average price to $245, completely wiping out the previous week’s $17 gain. However, with the lower offering, the clearance rates this week jumped to 80pc — up from 70pc the previous week- – signalling that many of the sellers operating this week were keen to lock in a sale and offload before the winter conditions set in, AuctionsPlus said.
Prices dip for scanned and sound mouth first cross ewes
Prices this week also contracted for scanned in-lamb and sound mouth first cross ewes. With 5074 head offered, SIL first cross ewes averaged $35 lower at $303, with a slightly higher clearance rate of 59pc. Similarly, sound mouth first cross ewes averaged $67 lower at $233.
Demand improves for ewes with lambs
After several weeks of subdued clearance rates, AuctionsPlus said demand bounced for ewes with lambs this week, with a 93pc clearance rate for the 1181 head offered and a $31 rise in the average price to $296. An indicative line of 247 Merino ewes with 250 lambs at Lalbert in north-west Victoria, sold for $280/unit.
NOTE: Prices as at 5pm Thursday, May 20, 2021.