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Strong demand for flood-restricted lamb offering

Sheep Central, December 6, 2021

These May-June 2021 drop Merino ewe lambs sold for $217 in the Warren flock dispersal at Boorowa on AuctionsPlus last week.

AUCTIONSPLUS sheep and lamb numbers dropped more than 20 percent last week as flooding impacted the New South Wales offering, but demand remained strong.

AuctionsPlus offered 100,259 sheep and lamb numbers, back 22 percent on the previous week and 58pc lower than the same week in 2020.

The very wet November continued to impact logistics and finish, and water-filled paddocks and flooding across parts of NSW contributed to a drop of 42,000 head to just over 22,000 sheep and lambs.

AuctionsPlus said demand for lambs and several sheep categories remained strong and the top purchasing regions included south-west Victoria (19,777), central west NSW (12,815) and the Riverina (8061).

Producers offered 70,750 new season lambs, up 9pc, mostly from Victoria and South Australia. Demand remained firm for lambs, with five of the six lamb categories averaging dearer than last week.

Crossbred lambs accounted for 34pc of the catalogue last week, with 33,943 head listed. Victoria offered most of crossbred lambs, listing 24,956 head listed. Prices for the category ranged from $125-$246/head, to average $162/head – up $4 with an 89pc clearance. Two indicative lines were 780 head of White Suffolk/Border Leicester/Merino mixed sex suckers weighing 41.2kg at Casterton in Victoria, that sold for $181 to a buyer in Dirranbandi, Queensland – about 1500km north.

Producers offered 10,991 Merino wether lambs, 12pc of the total offering. Prices ranged from $86 to $168 and averaged $142, up $8, with a 90pc clearance. Merino ewe lambs continued to rise in value and demand, selling from $141 to $217 and averaging $173, up $20, with a 72pc clearance. South Australian producers offered most of the Merino ewe lambs and 72pc of the sold SA lines went to NSW buyers.

The 11,757 first cross ewe lambs offered amounted to 12pc of the catalogue, and they sold from $17-$347, to average $244, up $39, with a 58pc clearance.

The offering of composite and other breed lambs held firm at 8061 head and was 8pc of the total catalogue. Despite good demand within the category returning the highest clearance rate across the lamb categories for the week at 94pc, prices eased to range from $141-$285 and average $164, back $13.

Producers offered 1692 joined ewes across the five categories, insufficient to quote, except for the 1330 shedding breed ewes that sold from $141-$410 to average $266, down $49.

The prices for unjoined ewes improved across three of the four categories listed last week. The number of Merino ewe hoggets listed halved and were subsequently met with steady demand, with a 72pc clearance. Prices for the category ranged from $171-$327 to average $260, up $21. Unjoined Merino ewes accounted for 11pc of the catalogue, with 11,292 head offered, AuctionsPlus sold 73pc of the lines offered from $97-$342 at an average price of $236, up $24.

NOTE: Prices as at 5pm, Thursday 3rd December, 2021

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