LAMB prices and clearances dipped, and Merino ewe values improved, in a record AuctionsPlus weekly sheep and lamb offering last week.
The platform set a new national commercial offering record of 166,007 head, breaking the previous high of 164,375 head set just two weeks earlier.
Listings this week were 20 percent higher than the previous week’s offering and 21pc higher than the corresponding week in 2020.
New season lamb numbers totalled 114,746 head due a combination of factors, but ultimately underpinned by the excellent lambing rates from the positive seasonal conditions across the eastern seaboard in 2021, AuctionsPlus said.
High lamb numbers placed pressure on the market this week, with five of the six lamb categories averaging lower than last week, with clearance rates back considerably.
AuctionsPlus said the additional push from many mixed farming operations to get lambs off prior to the start of what is shaping up to be a bumper harvest has fuelled the record offerings.
The 57,462 crossbred lambs offered was 35pc of the total offering and a 42pc increase from the previous week. Prices for the category ranged from $125-$221 to average $163/head, back $8, and the clearance rate dropped to 71pc.
There was increased demand for 21,879 Merino wether lambs listed, boosting the clearance to 87pc. Prices for the category averaged $140/head, back $2.
Merino ewe lambs had the only price rise across the lamb categories, with the category averaging $182/head, up $15. The category’s clearance rate; however, fell to 57pc, indicative of restockers seeking high quality future breeder lines, AuctionsPlus said.
NSW again registered the largest offering, with 71,676 head of sheep and lambs listed. This consisted mostly of crossbred lambs (20pc), unjoined Merino ewes (16pc) and Merino wether lambs (15pc). The top purchasing regions this week included central west NSW and the NSW Riverina, which secured 18,589 head and 13,982 head, respectively.
The first cross ewe lamb offering of 12,756 head listed online was 8pc of the week’s listings. The clearance rate remained steady at 60pc, while the average price fell $25 to $247/head.
Joined ewe numbers remained sparse this week. The 1792 joined shedding breed ewes averaged firm on $291 at a 100pc clearance rate.
The 17,776 unjoined Merino ewes offered were 11pc of total listings. Prices for the category ranged from $150-$302 and averaged $220/head, down $4. The clearance rate lifted to 62pc, with younger and heavier lines more attractive to restockers and processors.
NOTE: Prices as at 5pm, Thursday 28th October, 2021