PRICES for Merino and crossbred ewes started to climb on AuctionsPlus last week as producers continued to rebuild depleted flocks.
New South Wales’s Riverina region continued to lead the restocking trend, buying 9242 sheep and lambs, or 18 percent of AuctionsPlus’ national online listings of 50,599 head, 1100 more than the previous week.
AuctionsPlus operations manager Tom Rookyard said the Riverina is its fourth week as the most active purchasing region, buying lines of scanned Merino, composite and first ewes.
NSW producers and processors bought 39pc of the sheep and lambs offered with 4860 head going to the central west, 1917 to the southern tablelands, 1907 to the south west slopes and plains and 1611 to the north-west slopes and plains.
About 14pc of the online yarding, or 7068 head, sold into Victoria; western Queensland producers bought 2362 head and 1662 head went into upper south-east South Australia.
Mr Rookyard said the market continued at buoyant levels, with most categories holding firm on last week or achieving increases.
Merino ewe lamb prices rise $25
Merino ewe lamb prices rose by $25 to average $167 this week and sold from $120-$251. The top-priced line was a mob of 11-12 month-old 50kg lwt Wanganella and Haddon Rig blood lambs at Ungarie, NSW. A line of Wanganella blood 31kg May/June drop ewe lambs at Hay, NSW sold for $197.
Merino ewe hoggets prices last week trended weaker, down $3 on last week, making from $126 to $221, with an average of $170. Highlights included 49kg Merino ewe hoggets at Goondiwindi, Queensland, that were scanned in-lamb selling for $197. A line of 42kg hoggets at Parkes, NSW, sold for $221.
Strong interstate buying interest
Lines of young 2-4 year-old Merino ewes attracted strong interstate buying interest, with prices ranging from $134-$261 and averaging $186, up $9 on the previous week. A line of 2-3 year-old scanned in-lamb ewes at Bullarah, NSW, sold for $207 to a grower in Longreach, Queensland, and 3 year-old scanned in-lamb ewes at Forbes, NSW, sold for $194 to a Victorian buyer at Wodonga.
Merino wethers and wether lambs also continued to attract strong buyer interest. Wether lambs sold from $83-$161 with an average of $126, up $24 on last week. Wether hoggets ranged $85 to $141, with an average of $113, up $6.
Mr Rookyard said buyers looked for wool length on lines this week, with July/August drop 40kg Severn Park and Mumblebone blood lambs with a 4cm fleece at Mudgee, NSW, selling for $161. Some 12-14 month-old Egelabra blood hoggets at Winton, QLD, with a 5.5cm fleece sold for $141. Full wool July/August drop 31kg lambs at Boorowa, NSW, made $140.
NSW buyers look south for replacements
Mr Rookyard said last week saw many producers were looking toward spring, with NSW buyers buying as far south as Bridgewater North and Mansfield in Victoria for scanned in-lamb first cross ewes. Scanned first cross ewes sold from $170-$300, to average $247. Stand-out lines included 21-22 month-old ewes at Benalla in Victoria, selling for $300; July/August drop breeders at Wellington, NSW, making $289, and 3-9 year-old ewes at Peak Hill, NSW, selling for $201.
Store lamb numbers dropping
Store lamb numbers continued to drop last week, with 2209 head offered, 1900 fewer. Last week’s highlights included:
- White Suffolk cross, July/Aug 2018 drop, 36kg, $159/435c/kg liveweight, Hay, NSW
- First cross mixed sex, Sept/Oct 2018 drop, 36kg, $158/437c/kg, Barraba, NSW
- White Suffolk cross, Feb/March 2019 drop, 33kg, $156/463c/kg, Goodnight, NSW
- First cross wethers, Oct/Nov 2018 drop, 35kg, $146/411c/kg, Bourke, NSW
- White Suffolk cross, Feb/Mar 2019 drop, 27kg $146/530c/kg, Goodnight, NSW
- Composite mixed sex, July/Sept 2018 drop, 32kg, $145/446c/kg, Coleraine, Victoria
- White Suffolk cross, Feb/Mar 2019 drop, 28kg, $142/501c/kg, Goodnight, NSW