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Online lamb yardings lift as cattle decline

14 October 2021

Key points:

  • Lamb throughput improves

Sheep

Currently, volume trends for both platforms (saleyard and online) are similar, with throughput rising for new season lambs as expected. Despite physical saleyard throughput over the last few weeks dwindling due to a few factors including long weekends (less sales going ahead), rainfall, quality and some processor closures or inactivity, numbers have burst onto the market this week.
Trade and heavy lamb yardings have improved 44% and 72%, respectively, this week. Similarly, AuctionsPlus store yardings continue to go from strength to strength, evidenced by crossbred and Merino lambs experiencing week-on-week gains, rising 38% since the start of July to the highest total since January this year.

Prices

For the week ending 8 October, crossbred lambs averaged $204 online, with Merino lambs making $152/head. Larger framed crossbred lambs with fat score 4 averaged $366/head last week. While prices have ticked up since the week prior, they have been declining since more lambs entered the market in July. The decline equates to 16%, or $40/head, in that time.

Cattle

Cattle yardings have declined for both platforms, meaning supply has ventured even lower during the seasonal lull. Physical saleyard throughput has declined by 30% in a fortnight, with AuctionsPlus’ store sale similarly down by 31%.
Wetter conditions and shorter selling weeks are certainly having an impact on yardings, with producers potentially tempted to hold onto stock as the season progresses and the market remains high.

Prices

Last week, AuctionsPlus weaner, feeder and yearling steers averaged $1,710/head, $2,124/head and $2,256/head, respectively. In the female side of the equation, weaners made $1,612/head, feeders went for $1,775/head and yearlings were at $2,072/head.