Prime & Store Sheep Reports

Prices shift as AuctionsPlus sheep and lamb offerings rise

Sheep Central, March 22, 2021

AUCTIONSPLUS’ sheep and lamb offerings continued to increase last week, rising 11 percent to 107,418 head and flow of stock over the past two weeks has had a notable impact on prices, especially for the joined ewe lines.

This week’s offering increase, follows a 15pc lift in the previous week.

Merino wether lambs continue to meet steady demand, with the clearance rate in previous weeks being consistently above other categories. The 17,152 head offered this week resulted in an 85pc clearance rate, with the average price slipping $2 to $137.

An indicative result for this week was 250 unshorn July-August 2020 drop Merino wether lambs, averaging 39.6kg at Benalla, Victoria, that sold for $150.

Crossbred lambs sold to mixed demand this week, with a 21pc drop in the total numbers offered, at 15,788 head. The contraction in supply only had a marginal impact on the weekly average, edging $3 higher to $164, with a 69% clearance rate, AuctionsPlus said.

Crossbred lamb rates lift

In a mixed market, 8850 first cross ewe lambs averaged $18 higher, at $260, while Merino ewe lambs slipped $5, to average $188 – with a weekly clearance rate of 57pc and 41pc, respectively.

Joined ewe prices soften

Joined ewe lines were softer this week, with prices back across the three main categories. For scanned in-lamb Merino ewes, 61pc of the 17,485 head were sold within the official sale time, with the average price back $4 at $255. An indicative sale was 275 SIL Merino ewes at Stawell, Victoria, averaging 63.3kg and February shorn making $265. Comparatively, the average price for sound mouth Merino ewes decreased $56 to $199. Prices for SIL first cross ewes decreased $30 to $300.

The relatively low clearance rate for both categories, at 40pc and 49pc, respectively, continued to point to a stand-off between sellers expectations and buyers enthusiasm. In recent weeks, clearance rates have slowly increased in the days following the Tuesday auctions, as expectations and enthusiasm converge, AuctionsPlus said.

Rain expected to impact buying

AuctionsPlus said while the widespread falls through central and northern NSW this week may have come too late to impact this week’s offerings, next week’s listings will be very closely watched, given the extensive and heavy falls forecast. If the falls forecast deliver, the on-farm desire to retain and rebuild will be refreshed – balanced against the ever-present need for cash flow and income.

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