WIDESPREAD rain helped lift AuctionsPlus sheep and lamb clearance rates last week — from 54 percent on Tuesday, to 63pc by the week’s end.
The weekely offering also increased by 36pc to 62,565 commercial sheep and lambs.
This was 37pc lower than the offering in the corresponding week in 2021, although AuctionsPlus said there is some expectation for a “backlog” of lambs to enter the market in the coming weeks, following the reduced trading days through April.
AuctionsPlus said the top listing regions for last week included south-west Victoria (13,051 head), central west New South Wales (12,890 head) and NSW’s north-west slopes and plains (7218 head).
Lamb listings accounted for 40pc of the offering, with clearance rates stronger across the board as a result of tightening lamb supply across the month and ongoing demand for heavier weight lambs. Three of the five lamb categories offered this week registered higher price averages, but prices eased for first cross and Merino ewe lambs
Crossbred lambs averaged $165/head, up $11, with the category reaching a clearance of 79pc across the 6555 head offered.
AuctionsPlus said Merino wether lambs were the largest of the lamb categories last week, with 11,035 head. Prices rose for the second consecutive week, up $1 to average $133. The category comprised mostly store wether lambs and 72pc were sold. A large run of 1050 store wether lambs at Mungindi NSW weighing 39kg lwt sold for $115 to a Queensland buyer.
The clearance rate for Merino ewe lambs rose significantly in the days after the Tuesday lamb sale and reached 90pc for the offering of 4988 head. Prices eased $16, to average $177, taking back some of the previous week’s gains.
Clearance rates varied on joined ewes
The 20,399 joined ewes comprised 33pc of the total offering last week. Clearance rates varied from 33-100pc, despite some post-sale negotiations and prices across most categories softened week-on-week.
Scanned in-lamb Merino ewes were the largest category, with the 9345 head being 15pc of the total offering. They made $116-$270, to average $204, back $10 and the clearance rate was 63pc. A line of 465 2-3 year-old Merino ewes weighing 67kg lwt at Coonamble NSW, made $265 to a NSW buyer at Narromine.
The 3208 scanned in-lamb first cross ewes averaged $277 and 57pc were sold as buyers remained cautious. Only 33pc of the 3308 joined Merino ewes were sold, for an average of $134, back $1.
Buyers chase quality in unjoined ewes
The 14,752 unjoined ewes listed accounted for 24pc of the total offering. Merino ewes and ewe hoggets registered significant price gains week-on-week, but clearance rates across the more populated categories remained subdued as buyers largely pursued lines with quality, frame and bloodline.
The 3732 unjoined Merino ewe hoggets accounted for 6pc of the offering. The average price rose by $121 to average $254 and the clearance rate reached 58pc.
The average price for unjoined Merino ewes sold online rose $23 to $182 last week. Clearance rates were boosted in the days following the sale, up from 35pc to 54pc across the 5111 head offered.
AuctionsPlus sold 77pc of the 2915 unjoined shedding breed ewes listed. They made $135-$297 and the average prices softened by $83 to $203. A line of 483 Dorper ewes weighing 44kg lwt at Cunnamulla in Queensland sold for $251, $51 above the reserve. They were bought by a buyer at Longreach, Queensland.
NOTE: Prices as at 5pm, Thursday 28th April 2022