Prime & Store Sheep Reports

Renewed demand drives AuctionsPlus lamb prices higher

Sheep Central, December 4, 2023

These 53.1kg March-April 2023 drop first cross ewes at Narromine, NSW, sold for $156 on AuctionsPlus last week.

MOST lamb and some sheep category prices improved on AuctionsPlus last week and fierce competition lifted the overall clearance 21 points to 86 percent.

AuctionsPlus said buyer appetite was driven not just by the recent rain, but also affected by listing numbers falling for the third consecutive week — down 6 percent to 67,7641.

Demand was particularly high for lambs, which recorded a very strong 90pc clearance for the 42,044 head offered. The AuctionsPlus Australian Restocker Lamb Indicator has more than doubled in the last 11 weeks to $56/head from $27.

The strong demand returned a dearer market for lambs with all categories rising on the previous week; however, the unjoined ewe market had some price variations, with values in three categories rising and falling in two.

AuctionsPlus said market optimism may have pushed reserves ahead of market appetite. Value over reserve declined $3 this week, to average $11 above set reserves.

The insights team have calculated the average distance between starts and reserves, returning an average gap of 9.19pc for the week. This has come down from a high of 11.81pc in the second week of November. Lots where reserves are set less than 5pc above the start are currently averaging above a 60pc clearance for 2023, whereas those that are 5-10pc above a ranging between 55-58pc in clearance. Any higher gap than those levels see clearance rates in the 30 and 40 percentile range.

The drop in listings was attributed to a fall across all stock categories, with sheep falling 26pc, joined ewes dropping 20pc, unjoined ewes falling 8pc and lambs declining 3pc on the previous week.

New season lamb numbers were flat at 46,114 head and were extremely sought after, returning a 90pc clearance rate. New season prices also benefited from the strong demand, with the average price increasing $8 to $67/head.

Crossbred lambs were in high demand, achieving a 92pc clearance for the 27,606 head offered and the average price rise $5 to $66. From Holbrook, NSW a line of 230 Poll Dorset/Merino mixed sex May 2023 drop and weighing 51kg lwt returned $106/head, or 209c/kg.

AuctionsPlus sold 90pc of the 4157 first cross ewe lambs offered for an average price of $81, up $23. From Cooma, NSW the same vendor sold 1,645 first cross ewes which were split across seven different lots. Weighing 33kg and Jul/Aug 23’ drop these lambs ranged a tight $71 – $73/head and will see five lots travel into Victoria and two remain in NSW.

The Merino ewe offering reduced 8pc to total 4842 head, and the smaller offering returned strong demand and prices with clearance hitting 98pc and the average price rising by $5 to $94. From Perillup, WA a total of 969 Poll Merino ewes aged 3 years old were offered across three different lots by the same vendor. These ewes averaged 56kg and ranged from $52-$55/head and all three lots will travel into New South Wales.

Note: Prices as at 5pm Thursday, 30th November 2023

Source – AuctionsPlus.

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