WET weather and flooding has contributed to a record online AuctionsPlus sheep and lamb offering in October.
AuctionsPlus recorded a monthly throughput in October of 292,945 commercial sheep and lambs or 295,338 including stud stock, boosting the year-to-date online numbers by 7 percent above the same period last year to 805,000 commercial sheep, or 811,000 with stud sheep included.
In New South Wales last month 131,000 sheep and lambs were offered with big offerings out of the state’s central western, and north west slopes and plains regions, where flooding was prevalent. South Australia also performed strongly for the online trade, listing 78,000 head.
“Our numbers in September were also quite strong, and there certainly was an element of people not being able to get stock out and they thought online would be a good opportunity rather than having to commit to getting to a saleyard on a particular day,” AuctionsPlus market operator Anna Adams said.
Ms Adams said October online figures were also helped by live ewe sales in Western Australia interfaced with AuctionsPlus, with some Victorian and southern NSW bidders taking advantage of the disparity in breeding ewe prices between WA and the eastern states.
From the interface Elders Corrigin and Wickepin ewe sales on October 3, about 800 mainly Merino ewes of the 5000 yarded were bought by eastern states buyers. On October 17, about 1038 2.5-4.5-year-old Merino ewes offered at Kalannie, WA, were bought by Riverina buyers.
Ms Adams said the numbers of WA crossbred lamb and ewes coming east in August and September were also higher than other years, despite the higher freight component, due to the price disparity and stronger demand in eastern states.
“That eastern competition has given the western market that little bit of a nudge upwards again.
“But there is still a lot more demand for sheep over here than there is over there at the moment,” she said.
Ms Adams said the annual turn-off of young breeders through spring has seen some outstanding prices and summer will start to see scanned ewes on the market. Better joining rates and fewer empty older or cull ewes available may also put upward pressure on mutton prices, she said.
Click here to see the AuctionsPlus October sheep category breakdown.
Click here to see the AuctionsPlus October sheep prices/head.