Prime & Store Sheep Reports

Sheep and lamb prices struggle as New Year sell-off begins

Sheep Central, January 16, 2023

These unjoined mid-May shorn 18-19 month-old Merino ewes sold for $303 on AuctionsPlus at Dunedoo in New South Wales last week.

SHEEP and lamb prices generally either dropped or were unchanged for a larger yarding of 95,008 head on AuctionsPlus last week.

Prices lifted for Merino wethers, scanned in-lamb Merino ewes and unjoined composite/other breed ewes.

AuctionsPlus said the offering was 13 percent higher than in the same week in 2022 and was influenced by delayed lamb sales from the widespread flooding and drawn-out finish to Spring, that impaired growth rates in late 2022.

Large numbers of new season lambs are expected to flow into the market across the remainder of the Summer, the online marketplace said.

“Following a similar trend to the final weeks of 2022, both sheep and lamb prices slipped back, as the restocking pace slows, and demand remains soft.

“Post-sale negotiations in the days following the closure of auctions will remain a key factor in securing a sale in coming weeks, as vendors and buyers find even ground to lock in a sale,” AuctionsPlus said.

The 71,839 lambs offered across the week sold to subdued demand in the scheduled sales; however, post-sale negotiations lifted clearance rates substantially across all categories.

Crossbred lambs dominated the lamb offering this week, with 41,521 listed that sold to a 58pc clearance after post-sale negotiaions, up from 30pc following the immediate closure of Tuesday’s auction. Prices for the category ranged from $53-$152 to average $123, back $8 on last week. A highlight for the category 440 Poll Dorset cross mixed sex lambs in two lines at Crookwell in New South Wales. The lambs weighed an average of 42kg lwt and sold for $145 to a buyer in Cowra, NSW.

AuctionsPlus sold 67pc of the 10,118 Merino wether lambs offered for an average of $73/head. Post-sale negotiations lifted the clearance rate from 38pc following Tuesday’s sale t5o 67pc by Thursday. A line of 400 Merino wether suckers weighing 35kg lwt in Dergholm, Victoria, sold for $96 to a buyer in Benalla, NSW.

AuctionsPlus cleared 67pc of the 5873 first cross ewe lambs for $103-$230 to average $168. At Barham in NSW, 272 first cross ewe lambs weighing 56kg lwt sold for $230 to a buyer in Kyeamba, NSW.

All of the small offering of 935 shedding breed lambs sold for an average of $135. At Coonamble in NSW, 42 Australian White ewe lambs weighing 43kg lwt sold for$230 to a buyer at Dubbo, NSW.

Composite/other breed lambs averaged $104last week, back $10, with the 5306 head selling to a 61pc clearance. At Dunkeld, Victoria, 376 composite mixed sex store lambs weighing 37kg lwt topped the category at $131.

A total of 23,169 head of sheep were offered across the week. Unjoined ewes accounted for most of the offering, with 21,320 head listed. Price and buyer trends followed a similar pattern to the lamb market, with clearance rates remaining subdued despite post-sale negotiations accounting for a significant proportion of sales, AuctionsPlus said.

The 560 scanned in-lamb shedding breed ewes averaged $219 for an 82pc clearance. The 586 joined shedding breed ewes offered averaged $118 for a 93pc clearance. At Shepparton in Victoria, 68 scanned in-lamb 1-7 year-old White Dorper ewes weighing 65kg lwt sold for $146 to a Condobolin buyer in NSW.

Unjoined Merino ewe hoggets averaged $159, back $61, and 53pc of the 3901 head offered eventually sold, up from 33pc during Tuesday’s sale. At Dunedoo in NSW, 270 18-19 month-old hoggets weighing 57kg lwt sold for $303 to a Narromine buyer in NSW.

AuctionsPlus cleared 69pc of the 7154 unjoined Merino ewes listed for $80-$200, to average $127. At Port Lincoln in South Australia, 290 three year-old ewes weighing 59kg lwt sold for $119 to South Australian buyer at Crystal Brook.

Composite/other breed ewes were the largest category in the sheep sale, with 7680 head offered. The average price increased by $5 to $150, but the clearance rate remained subdued at 39pc. At Port Fairy in Victoria, 336 composite ewes in two even lines weighing 70kg lwt made $160.


Source – AuctionsPlus.


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