Sheep and lamb sell-off pushes AuctionsPlus to 2022 peak

Sheep Central, November 14, 2022

RECENT flooding, its impact on livestock saleyard turn-off and income-cost concerns are believed to be some of the drivers of a 74 percent rise in AuctionsPlus sheep and lamb listings to a 2022 peak this week.

The online marketplace will this week deliver its largest commercial offering so far in 2022, with a total of 147,304 head catalogued across Tuesday sales.

The offering to be made across four sales, will be the largest since the 21st December 2021, underpinned by a large increase in new season lamb listings in Victoria and South Australia.

Top listing regions include south-west Victoria (21,682 head), followed by central western NSW (14,960 head) and lower south-east SA (14,143 head).

The National Lamb Sales will offer 94,474 head across 272 lots, broken across two separate sales. Commencing at 1pm AEDT will be the QLD & NSW National lamb sale 1, followed by the VIC & SA National Lamb sale 2 commencing at 1:30pm AEDT.

Mixed sex lambs account for most of the lamb offering, with 47,307 head, while ewe and wether lambs account for 16pc (14,827 head) and 34pc (32,340 head), respectively.

The National Sheep Sales will offer a total of 52,830 head across 304 lots, broken across two sales. The QLD & NSW National Sheep sale 1 will commence at 2pm AEDT, followed by the VIC, SA and WA National sheep sale 2 at 2:30pm AEDT.

Unjoined ewes and hoggets accounted for 67% of the sheep offering, while station mated stock accounted for 18pc across the National Sheep Sales.

AuctionsPlus chief economist Tim McRae said confidence in the lamb and sheep market heading into the final weeks of 2022 will face a huge examination tomorrow, with the largest online sale offering for the year.

He said the three main drivers for the offering increase include producers facing pressure on time windows for sheep and lambs, with the “recent” drier window enabling them to take action.

“The massive yarding in the Wagga saleyards late last week reinforced this action.

“While it is normally “make hay while the sun shines…in 2022, it is a version of move and transport stock while the sun shines (or at least not raining),” Mr McRae said.

“As the last few days have proved, not sure when risk of flooding and rainfall will go away…so make the most of available windows.”

Mr McRae said the disruption to the seasonal pattern and concerns around harvest has many producers selling to ensure cash flow prior to the Christmas slowdown.

“This was also a huge factor in the cattle market last week.

“At the end of the day, everyone in it to make money…and there are always bills to be paid,” he said.

He said another summer of wet conditions, flies and waiting for shearers also has many producers erring on the side of caution.

“A third year of difficulties is to be avoided.”


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