Prices fluctuations noted in AuctionsPlus sheep sales

Terry Sim, August 22, 2022

These 10-15 month-old Australian White ewes sold for $356 at Trundle in central west NSW last week.

PRICE fluctuations were apparent across the AuctionsPlus’ offering last week of 31,473 sheep and lambs – a 2.4 percent reduction.

AuctionsPlus said the tight throughput was paired with cautious buyer and seller sentiment.

The initial supply of new season lambs has been hampered by widespread wet and cold weather, impacting lamb growth and performance, and delaying the surge of large volumes in the market.

The national lamb sale offered 17,223 head in 57 lots, and 70pc were eventually sold, up 9pc the clearance during the Tuesday sale. Across the lamb offerings, 88pc of the listings came from New South Wales, with the Riverina region registering the largest regional throughput of 4654 lambs. Western NSW also registered a considerable offering of 3690 new season lambs.

While last season lambs still accounted for a considerable 34pc of lamb listings, new season lambs are beginning to make their mark, albeit with significantly reduced volumes to the corresponding period in 2021, AuctionsPlus said.

AuctionsPlus said old season lamb listings were led by the NSW northern tablelands, central west and north-west slopes and plains, where ongoing cold and wet conditions, paired with a cautious market have resulted in producers holding off. Across the lamb categories, another week of low throughput driven by wet conditions and a delay in lambs hitting the market proved difficult to establish price trends across most categories. The two largest throughput categories; crossbred and Merino wether lambs, both registered lower average prices from the previous week.

Crossbred lambs accounted for 23pc of the total offering, with the 7,365 head reaching a clearance of 69%. Prices ranged between $100-150/head, to average $126/head – back $4 from last week. From Mendooran, NSW Central West, two lines totaling 500 head of Poll Dorset/Border Leicester/Merino mixed sex lambs weighing 33kg lwt returned $140/head – headed to a buyer in Goulburn, NSW.


Merino wether lambs accounted for 18% of the catalogue, which registered a robust clearance of 89% across the 5,689 head offered. Prices for the category eased back $10, to average $94/head. Out of Hillston, NSW Riverina, a line of 400 Poll Merino wether lambs aged 4-5 months weighing 46kg lwt returned $126/head and will travel into South Australia.

The National Sheep Sale had a total of 14,250 head listed across 75 lots, which sold to a 65% clearance rate – up 14% from the immediate closure of Tuesdays’ auction following post sale negotiations. Joined ewe listings accounted for 17% of total listings, while unjoined ewe numbers rose to total 7,041 head, or 22% of total listings.

Station mated shedding breed ewes were the largest joined ewe category for the week, with the 1,619 head returning a clearance of 59%. Prices trended $67 higher on last week, to average $268/head.

SIL Merino ewes sold to higher demand this week, returning a “perfect” 100% clearance across the 1,378 head offered. Prices for the category ranged between $141-219/head, to average $173/head, back $7 from last week. A highlight for the category included a line of 432 2-4-year-old SIL Merino ewes from Dirranbandi, Queensland, which averaged 60.5kg lwt and topped the category at $219/head.

Unjoined Merino ewes were met with very selective buying, with the 741 head reaching a clearance of only 8% at the immediate close of the sale while post sale negotiations saw clearance rise to 27% in the 48 hours following the sale.

Unjoined shedding breed ewes registered an 87% clearance rate across the 2,661 head offered. Prices ranged between $124-408/head, to average $257/head – up $65/head. From Condobolin, NSW, two lines of Australian White future breeder ewe lambs weighing 46kg lwt returned $408/head – $120 above their reserve price. The 270 head will travel to a buyer in Barellan in the NSW Riverina.


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