ONLINE sheep and lamb supplies contracted and prices improved last week after rain fall across the eastern states.
The number of sheep and lambs offered exclusively on AuctionsPlus dropped 21 percent to 85,803 head.
With the sharp contraction in supplies, prices were mostly higher for all categories, especially for assessed joined ewes, with the refreshed seasonal conditions adding further impetus to flock building intentions, AuctionsPlus said.
The supply of scanned in-lamb Merino ewes slipped back 4pc, with the average price for the past week increasing $10 to $265. The 79pc clearance rate was also well above the previous week’s result. The average price for scanned in-lamb first cross ewes also increased, by $3 to $303, and the clearance rate also improved to 60pc.
For the other main sheep lines, the average price for unjoined Merino ewes increased $14 to $215, and 89pc of the 4716 head offered was sold. Unjoined Merino ewe hoggets was one of the few categories to decline in average price for the week, losing $28 to average $217, with only a 31pc clearance rate.
Lamb prices lift as offering drops
The sharp contraction in lamb supply contributed to some renewed upwards momentum into prices, with average clearance rates for all categories exceeding 80pc. Crossbred lamb supplies declined 34pc to only 10,473 head, and the average price rose $12 to $176 – with an 84pc clearance rate. Similarly, the number of Merino wether lambs offered dropped 39pc to 10,543 head, and the average price rose $10 to $147 – with an 88pc clearance rate.
AuctionsPlus says the very deliberate reserve levels set by online sellers contributed to the very high clearance rates in the lamb categories. Many sellers were reportedly very keen to lock in sales and have lambs off farm prior to the approaching Easter holiday.
One of the highlights for the week was the sale of 30 August 2020 drop Australian White ewe lambs at Oberon in New South Wales that made $563 – the second highest lamb price on record for AuctionPlus. The Tattykeel blood lambs averaged 43.2kg liveweight, meaning they costed out at about $23.65/kg dressed.
NOTE: Prices are as at 5pm Thursday, 25th March 2021.