SHEEP and lamb numbers dropped about 10,000 to 54,387 on AuctionsPlus last week.
Most of the sheep and lambs sold came out of NSW, with 38,600 offered, but this was 3910 fewer than the previous week.
However, the largest category last week was Merino ewes and ewe lambs, totalling 18,000 head and 8000 of these came out of NSW.
AuctionsPlus market operations officer Ed Murphy said the online market is still firm with 41,000 head sold for the 75 percent clearance achieved across all sales, including post-sale negotiations.
Support for the continuing northern states sell-off came from strong competition from southern buyers, with 11,300 head sold into South Australia and Victoria, out of QLD and NSW.
Merino ewe lamb prices ranged from $90 to $257 to average $142, the top line being 49kg ewes at Tintinara in Victoria. A line of ewe lambs from Ifracombe, QLD, will travel 2,000km down to Kapunda, SA. The new season lambs weighed 25kg and made $90.
Merino hogget prices ranged from $116 to $248 to average $165. The top line were 55kg, 16-17 month-old unjoined ewes at Jamestown, SA. Prices eased back for older Merino breeders aged 4-6 years-old as they ranged from $50 to $161 and averaged $93. The top price was paid for a line of 4 year-old 64kg unjoined off-shears ewes at Narrandera, NSW.
Merino wether and wether lamb numbers steadied to 11,000 this week. The majority offered were Merino wether lambs in the national lamb sale and these averaged $82, making from $35 to $106. The top price was paid for Woodpark blood wethers from J & J Hackett at Goodnight, NSW. They were April/May ‘18 drop and weighed 31kg.
Fewer Merino wethers were offered last week and prices ranged from $59 to $112.50, averaging $80. The top price was paid for a line of 4.5 year-old export wethers weighing 64kg with a dressed value of 408c/kg.
Breeders offered 7000 first cross ewes online last week, with an even split between ewe lambs and older proven breeders. The ewe lambs averaged $176 and ranged from $95.50 to $239. The top price was paid for a line of 58kg, 11-12 month-old ewes from Narromine, NSW. The older breeders averaged $146 and ranged from $80 to $203. This top price was achieved by a line of 15-16 month-old unjoined ewes, weighing 58kg at Wagga Wagga, NSW.
The first AuctionsPlus National Lamb Sale listed 22,173 head and achieved an 89pc clearance after contracting. It had active bidders from NSW, SA, VIC, TAS and QLD. All the first cross lambs were cleared and they averaged $94. Second cross lambs also had a 100pc clearance and averaged $105.