New season lamb numbers totalled 114,746 head last week. The surge in numbers is a combination of several factors, but ultimately underpinned by the excellent lambing rates from the positive seasonal conditions across the eastern seaboard in 2021.
The additional push from many mixed farming operations to get lambs off prior to the commencement of what is shaping up to be a bumper harvest has fuelled the record offerings.
High lamb numbers placed pressure on the market this week, with five of the six lamb categories averaging lower than last week, with clearance rates also back considerably.
The crossbred lamb category had 57,462 head listed online, accounting for 35% of the total offering – a 42% increase from last week. Prices for the category ranged from $125 to $221, to average $163/head – back $8 with clearance rates lowering to 71%.
Merino wether lambs had a total of 21,789 head listed online this week, with the category experiencing increased demand, returning an 87% clearance rate. Prices for the category averaged $140/head – back $2. Merino ewe lambs had the only price rise across the lamb categories this week, with the category averaging $182/head – up $15. Clearance rates, however, for the category were back to 57%, indicative of restockers seeking high quality future breeder lines.
First cross ewe lamb numbers were similar to last week, with 12,756 head listed online – making up 8% of the total offering. Clearance rates for the category remained steady at 60%, while prices were back on last week to average $247/head – down $25.
Joined ewe numbers remained sparse this week. Station mated shedding breed ewes had a total offering of 1,792 head and returned a 100% clearance rate, with the category averaging $291/head.
NSM Merino ewes had a total offering of 17,776 head this week – 11% of the total consignment. Prices for the category ranged from $150 to $302, to average $220/head – a $4 drop from last week. Clearance for the category increased from last week to 62%, with younger and heavier lines more attractive to both restockers and processors.