ONLINE sheep and lamb listings almost doubled last week, crashing clearance rates and prices in some categories, and especially for joined and scanned in-lamb ewes as producers look to their feed reserves.
With no holidays, the supply of lambs and sheep offered exclusively by AuctionsPlus rose by 38,039 to 80,588 head last week – with the largest categories being scanned in-lamb Merino ewes (11,202) and Merino wether lambs (19,170).
AuctionsPlus said while sellers increased their activity last week, buyers appeared more cautious, with clearance rate across most of the main categories subdued, especially for selected breeding lines.
AuctionsPlus said given the limited supplies and disruptions of the past two weeks, any in depth analysis of week-on-week movements in price for April will be distorted. However, comparisons against the most recent full selling week, which was the week ending 26th March, should give a clearer indication of the market sentiment.
Some ewe and lamb prices have weakened since March
Although the average price paid for several lamb categories lifted last week, AuctionPlus said that with the limited supplies and disruptions of the past two weeks, any in depth analysis of week-on-week movements in price for April will be distorted. However, comparisons against the most recent full selling week, which was the week ending 26 March, should give a clearer indication of the market sentiment. As such, average lamb prices last week were largely weaker on late March, with first cross ewe lambs down $21, Merino ewe lambs down $19 and shedding lambs down $33. Similarly, the average price for scanned in-lamb Merino ewes is back $4 over the past three weeks, and the value of sound mouth Merino ewes is back $12 and for sound mouth first cross ewes $62 lower.
AuctionsPlus said last week’s clearance rates for all lamb categories were also significantly lower than in the final week of March – which was bolstered by robust buyer demand in the wake of the widespread rain in late March.
Joined ewe prices fall
AuctionsPlus said the main feature of average prices last week was a fall in all joined ewe categories, with 71 percent of 11,202 scanned in-lamb Merino ewes selling from $190-$312 and averaging $261, down $4 on the previous week. Similarly, scanned in-lamb first cross ewes made $248-$416 to average $325, $18 lower, with a 67pc clearance of the 2580 offered.
Sound mouth Merino ewes suffered the biggest price fall of the week, making $160-$270 to average $226, down $81. Average prices also fell for scanned in-lamb and sound mouth first cross ewes.
At Gilgandra in New South Wales, 225 scanned in-lamb 5.5 year-old Merino ewes averaging 56kg liveweight sold for $271.
Crossbred and Merino lamb prices lift
Crossbred lamb prices lifted online last week, making $146-$281 for an average of $189, $21 higher. Merino ewe lamb prices averaged $13 higher, within a range of $15-$231. The 19,170 Merino wether lambs offered made $107-$176.50 to average $149, up $3, for an 87pc clearance.
But the average price for composite lambs dropped $59 to $214, within a range of $121-$309. Frist cross ewe lamb prices also fell, making $144-$299 and averaging $208, down $35.
An indicative sale of 323 June-July 2020 drop Merino wether lambs weighing 38.6kgs at Nagambie in Victoria sold to $149, or 892c/kg carcase weight.
NOTE: Prices are as at 5pm Thursday, 15 April 2021.