ONLINE selling platform AuctionsPlus hasn’t had a big year in sales of camels, baby formula, wine or water, but sheep, cattle, machinery and goats are another story.
With huge increases in its cattle, sheep and goat throughput, plus a 428 percent increase in clearing and machinery sales during the COVID-19 pandemic, ‘the digital ag market’ achieved a record gross merchandise sales figure of more than $2.35 billion, up $1 billion-plus on the 2019/2020 figure of $1.32 billion.
AuctionsPlus’ sheep and lamb listings rose 10pc to 4.43 million head and the number of wool bales sold lifted 85pc to 34,557. Stud sheep sales increased 291pc to 297 and goat sales increased seven-fold with numbers rising 224pc to 130,198. The number of working dog sales held through the platform increased 150pc.
Cattle throughput increased 27pc to 814,758 head and special sales for seedstock were up 184pc. The platform also conducted 75 saleyard interfaces, up 295pc, and property sales rose 283pc to 46.
From humble beginnings more than 30 years ago, AuctionsPlus has grown rapidly to become Australia’s single largest cattle, sheep and lamb selling platform.
Last financial year, south-west Victoria was the top sheep listing region, followed by New South Wales’ Riverina region and central western NSW. These were also the top three purchasing regions — led by central western NSW, before the Riverina and south-west Victoria. New South Wales sold the most sheep (exclusively offered) on AuctionsPlus, despite the number dropping 17pc to 1,485,875, with Victoria taking second place, on the back of a 52pc increase to 870,143.
Market conditions, the season and trust
AuctionsPlus chief executive officer Angus Street said market conditions, the excellent season and heightened trust in online marketplaces all contributed to the 2020-21 record numbers.
“We are incredibly proud to be delivering a growing and valued service to the Australian agricultural community.
“We are most excited by the growth in the number of users and bidders that participate in each sale,” he said.
“From unprecedented Australian White ewe lamb prices, record working dog sales, and astounding machinery auction results – the ability for AuctionsPlus to deliver value for sellers and buyers nationally, across a range of markets has been a significant focus for the platform.”
Still growth potential in sheep and lambs
Mr Street said there was still huge growth potential for AuctionsPlus in sheep and wool.
“What we are very excited about is that it is going to be a record lambing this year, prices are good, demand is strong, there are lots of green grass in paddocks and lambs are going to be heavier.
“From a store market point, which AuctionsPlus is most recognised for, we see significant opportunity for the sellers to maximise returns after a couple of bad years, and from a buying point of view, to be able to restock paddocks with quality lines of stock and make good trades.
“We are seeing that the wool market is starting to get a bit more stable and we had record volumes through AuctionsPlus.
“Whether it be auctions or the offer board platform, people are becoming more accepting of technology and are adopting technology in the wool sector,” he said.
“We will continue to invest in digital sales and marketing channels for wool.”
Mr Street said sheep processors and feedlots are also engaging in the AuctionsPlus sheep and lamb selling platform for supplies in addition to physical saleyards and direct consignments.
“So I do think that the processors have a very strong procurement model, which direct to plant, and we play a role there for them to access stock outside of their normal buying pool.”
AuctionsPlus said its diversification into other agricultural-related markets has also been very well received, with machinery and clearing sales now making up an increasing proportion of the transactions through the platform.
Mr Street said focusing on customer experience and trust, AuctionsPlus has been constantly dared to offer additional items via our platform.
“A challenge that we have been very happy to facilitate.”
Follow this link to download a full copy of the AuctionsPlus summary report.