ONLINE demand for sheep and lambs was slightly softer last week, as some good rain through south-eastern Australia reportedly refreshed buyer confidence, but also renewed seller expectations.
AuctionsPlus said the sheep and lamb offerings exclusively sold through AuctionsPlus last week reached 72,020 head, which was 962 head fewer.
A surge in the number of crossbred lambs was largely offset by a sharp fall in the Merino wethers and shedding lambs offered.
AuctionsPlus said while patchy rain early in the week resulted in a slight rise in interest for the first cross ewe lamb portion of the market, the 24 percent increase in offerings was too much of a supply factor to offset. The average price for first cross ewe lambs finished $34 lower than the previous week at $208/head, with the clearance rate hitting 64pc, compared to 58pc the previous week.
Merino lamb numbers down
For the two Merino lamb categories, overall numbers were back on the previous week, with ewe lamb numbers back 10pc to 5027 head. The number of Merino wether lambs offered contracted 58pc to 6354 head.
However, even with the reduced offerings, the average price for Merino wether lambs decreased $5 to $140, with a 62pc clearance rate. An indicative line of 460 Merino wether lambs, Sept-Oct 2020 drop, averaging 43.4kg/head at Menindee, NSW, sold for $16, or 847.4c/kg cwt.
Merino ewe lambs averaged $9 lower at $161/head, with a clearance rate of only 30pc, compared to 59pc the previous week.
Joined ewe prices weaker
AuctionsPlus said the joined ewe market was weaker this week, with average prices down for three of the four main categories and the overall clearance rate fell. With the overall supply of scanned in-lamb Merino ewes jumping 19pc to 12,325 head, prices averaged $7 lower at $245/head, as restocker demand and the willingness to increase bids remained stagnant. The numbers of sound mouth Merino ewes (3279 head) and SIL first cross ewes (4296 head) were steady on last week. The SIL first cross ewes averaged $24 lower at $285/head, whereas the sound mouth Merino ewes averaged up $44 at $240/head.
Unjoined Merino ewes were dearer
AuctionsPlus said the unpredictable unjoined Merino ewe market kicked higher this week, defying the impact of a 48pc lift in the offering, to 5486 head. With a 79pc clearance rate, the ewes averaged $48 higher at $188.\