Given the success of the first edition of “Paddock Wisdom”, AuctionsPlus would again like to engage the services of its clients – this time looking at the six-month outlook for the Australian lamb market. In contrast to the cattle market, the seasonality of the Australian lamb market has a large impact on annual pricing – so we have given a brief historical context to the change in prices over the period since 2010 to assist responses.
Underpinned by more rain in key areas and a renewed forecast for sustained wet conditions into the third quarter of 2021, overall supplies through AuctionsPlus contracted 20% on last week, to 11,684 head. As the young cattle market continued to soar this week, with the EYCI remaining above 900c/kg cwt, online clearance rates kicked higher, registering between 85-97% for the heaviest populated categories.
AuctionsPlus’ sheep and lamb listings decreased 36% this week, totaling 44,769 head – breaking the recent run of increased weekly throughput. Prices again fluctuated across the categories, despite the decrease in supplies. Lambs observed a price increase in three-out-of-five categories, with an overall clearance rate of 67%, while joined ewes recorded an overall price decrease across the indicative categories.
Listings in the AuctionsPlus National Goat Sale increased 90% this week, to total 1,428 head. The sale consisted mainly of Rangeland does, though there was a significant offering of Kalahari Red bucks and does from a single vendor. A clearance rate of 95% was achieved with strong demand from buyers in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.
Selling week 51 saw the Fremantle selling center jump back into action after its recess and made an instant impact. The AWEX Eastern Market Indicator (EMI) rose by 55c to close out the selling week at 1,448c/kg or 1,105c/kg in US dollar terms and the passed in rate remained strong at 4.6%. In the last two weeks, the EMI has increased by over 100c, lifting to pre-COVID levels.
Across the agricultural sector there has been considerable growth in the organic market fueled by rising consumer demand and awareness. For the first six months so far in 2021, AuctionsPlus organic cattle throughput has increased by 214% year-on-year, to 6,655 head - with total cattle throughput down 3% for the same period.
Australian White sheep lines have been dominating headlines in recent months, as the surge in demand has been a feature of many market reports, as the breed continues to reach unprecedented levels. This was highlighted on Tuesday in the AuctionsPlus weekly commercial sheep and lamb auctions, when two lines of Australian White SIL ewe lambs from West Wyalong NSW, sold for $988/head.
The first edition of “Paddock Wisdom” proved to be a great success, with over 2,000 responses. The survey was open for exactly seven days, with plenty of feedback from participants – covering everything on why they selected one-of-five options, through to future survey topics. The results are as below:
The abrupt recent lockdown experienced in Victoria in the final week of May saw the Casterton Kelpie Association turn to AuctionsPlus to host their annual working dog auction, which is usually interfaced with AuctionsPlus, as an online only auction. The auction ran for ten days, starting on Friday June 4th, with the timer commencing on Sunday June 13th, to conclude the sale.
Some excellent falls of rain throughout the past week continued to underpin the unprecedented demand for light cattle, with the EYCI jumping back above 900c during the week. With total offerings through AuctionsPlus back 8% this week, to 14,522 head, prices increased for the mid-weight young steers, while the heavier end of the young heifer category registered steady price rises.
A 6 % increase in supply this week was registered for exclusive AuctionsPlus sheep and lamb listings, totalling 69,940 head – the second consecutive week of increased throughput. Prices fluctuated heavily, as supply and quality impacted prices. Joined ewes witnessed price increases across the majority of the indictive categories, while lambs reported an overall cheaper trend. Despite the cheaper market, clearance remained robust through the lamb categories, as reports of good rain across the eastern states helped fuel buyer demand.
As the run of excellent seasonal conditions in the eastern states has been underpinning the market for the past year, attention still needs to be given to the regions experiencing drier than average conditions. According to Bureau of Meteorology (BOM), between March and May 2021, Western Victoria and Southeast South Australia have received very much below average rainfall - which has started to impact upon producers’ decisions to hold, or sell, as the challenge of the winter months, lie ahead.
Dorper and White Dorper sales on AuctionsPlus have registered considerable growth over recent years, with strong numbers being offered and rising prices since 2016. 2020 and 2021 have resulted in strong price returns for Dorper stock categories, underpinned by the desire to rebuild stock numbers.
With the first week of winter almost behind us, a review of the AuctionsPlus sheep and lamb market performance so far in 2021 has revealed some instructive trends in the face of the widespread restocking and rebuilding of the national sheep flock.
There were some big price movements through the AuctionsPlus cattle categories this week, as the heavy steer and heifer lines took a substantial hit, while selected breeding lines registered steady gains. Overall offerings this week fell 21%, to 15,725 head, with some good falls through the eastern states simultaneously reducing supplies and refreshing buyer demand through the lighter lines, with clearance rates very high through the mid-weight steer lines.
AuctionsPlus greatly values the daily interaction it has with all the online buyers & sellers of livestock in Australia. As such, we are excited to start a new initiative “Paddock Wisdom”– asking AuctionsPlus participants one simple question on where they see the market heading over the rest of 2021.
As the first week of winter is almost in the rear-view mirror, AuctionsPlus sheep and lamb numbers increased 15% from the previous week, to see a total offering of 65,899 head - the first week-on-week increase in numbers since April. Quality feed in paddocks has supported ewe condition and preg scanning percentages, leading SIL Merino ewes to take the market by storm this week, with listings making up almost 20% of the weekly offering and prices averaging $47/head higher.
There was 1,938 goats listed in the AuctionsPlus National Goat Sale this week, with Rangeland bred goats dominating the throughput, with 1,672 head offered. Clearance for the week was 57%, up from 44% last week, with Boer goats in high demand with a 100% clearance rate from the 266 head on offer.
This week saw solid desire for various wool types, however, fine wools attracted the most demand. The AWEX Eastern Market Indicator made strong gains this week, increasing 17c on Tuesday and a further 6c on Wednesday to close out the week at 1,343c/kg or 1,040c in US dollar terms.
So far in 2021, there have been 3,247 Brangus cattle offered through AuctionsPlus sales – approximately 1,000 more than in 2020. Interestingly, the largest annual average price rise so far in 2021 has been registered for cows with CAF, up 78% from the corresponding period in 2020, at $2,772/unit. Compared to 2019, when offerings for this category were almost double the 2021 numbers, prices are up 139%.
So far in 2021, there has been 16,000 head of Brahman commercial cattle offered through AuctionsPlus. The heavier Brahman steer category reported an average price of $1,297/head for 2021, up 28% on the same period last year ($1,012/head) and 46% up on 2019 prices ($890/head).
Exclusive AuctionsPlus cattle listings lifted 14% this week, totaling 19,481 head, with light cattle remaining in tight supply. Demand remains robust, with both steers and heifers under 200kg achieving 100% clearance rates. In the physical markets, the EYCI managed to maintain its recent levels, hovering just below 900c for the week.
Sheep and lamb prices were again varied this week through AuctionsPlus sales, with the only consistent feature being the gradual tightening in supplies throughout May. A total of 57,071 head was offered this week, down 6% on last week and the fifth consecutive weekly contraction.
The national wool offering remained steady this week, offering 43,940 bales at national selling centres, rising steadily from the 41,857 sold the previous week. The industry again celebrated the small gains, with the AWEX Eastern Market Indicator (EMI) recording a 5c increase for the selling week, closing out at 1,320c/kg clean or 1,023c/kg in US dollar terms.
The Angus breed was easily the largest across the AuctionsPlus cattle sales for January - May 2021, with the 25,562 head offered for PTIC heifers the single largest category. Large numbers were also registered for the two reported steer lines, along with the PTIC cows and cows with CAF.
The number of Charbray cattle offered through AuctionsPlus so far in the first five months of 2021 has been significantly higher than previous years, with 2,571 head offered for January – May 2021. This compares to only 325 head in 2020 and 235 head in 2019.
A total of 10,064 head of Santa Gertrudis cattle have been offered so far on AuctionsPlus for 2021. Light steers 200-280kg liveweight averaged $1,438/head in 2021, increasing 72% from 2020 ($838/head) and 117% from 2019 ($663/head). Whilst the heavier steers, 280-330kg liveweight averaged $1,545/head in 2021, increasing 34% from 2020 and 91% from 2019, averaging $1,152/head and $808/head respectively.
So far in 2021, AuctionsPlus prices for young Hereford steers, 200-280kg liveweight, averaged $1,428/head. The 2021 average was up 86% on the same period in 2020 ($767/head), and 127% on 2019 ($629/head). For the heavier young steer category, 280-330kg liveweight, prices have averaged $1,623/head in 2021 - 43% higher than in 2020 and 117% from the drought period in 2019.
An advantage of selling online through AuctionsPlus is the multiple transaction points at which a line of livestock can change ownership – be it before the auction at the vendors nominated “buy now” price, during the set auction once the selected reserve price is met, or after auction via negotiation.
The number of cattle through AuctionsPlus sales this week contracted 15% on last week, to 17,480 head, with the search for quality, young breeding lines continue to be a feature of the market. For young cattle, quality offerings below 200kg remain very scarce, while mid-weight young heifers continue to be highly sort after, as aware vendors maintain high reserve levels.
It was another mixed week for AuctionsPlus sheep and lamb markets, as quality continues to play an increasing factor into buyer demand heading into winter. The total online offering this week was back 7% on last week, to 60,548 head, with a sharp fall in the number of SIL Merino ewes more than offsetting a jump in composite/other breed lambs.
There was a reduced offering at physical selling centres, falling from 54,899 bales offered the previous week to 41,857 bales (42,949 estimated) this week. For the 2nd week running, the pass in rate lowered, tightening to 10.9%, indicative of the reduced offering and sustained demand. These two factors combined to see the AWEX Eastern Market Indicator (EMI) gain 9 cents to finish the selling week at 1315c/kg or 1025c/kg in UD dollar terms.
As Australia’s largest Digital Ag Market, AuctionsPlus needs to understand the desires, challenges, and opportunities facing producers. Given this unique position, AuctionsPlus has commissioned independent research to determine and track the overall sentiment and issues that are at work within the livestock marketplace nationally.
Last week the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released the 2019-20 Agricultural Commodities report, which included details about the size of the Australian cattle herd, as of June 2020. While AuctionsPlus reported the national herd was at its lowest annual level in 30 years, at 23.5 million head, further digging reveals just where the Australian herd was sitting for different stock categories broken down to a state level at the end of June 2020.
Today’s release of the official Australian livestock numbers as of June 30, 2020, by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is the first clear, albeit lagged, confirmation of the historically low level of the Australian cattle herd. According to the ABS, the Australian cattle herd was at 23.503 million head in June 2020 – the lowest annual level in 30 years.
Today’s release of the official Australian livestock numbers as of June 30, 2020, by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has revealed just how far the Australian sheep flock has fallen in size in recent years – to 63.529 million head – the lowest official flock number since 1904 and fourth lowest annual count since 1885.
It was a varied week for online sales, with the 26% increase in total throughput, at 20,668 head, largely felt through the mid-weight steer and heifer lines. In the breeding selections, demand was strong for the heavier populated PTIC heifer and PTIC cow lines, while prices largely took a step back for the thinner traded breeding categories.
The national online market for sheep and lambs was largely stronger this week, assisted by a 9% decline in throughput – totaling 65,246 head. Some patchy, but welcome falls early in the week, along with the first real cold snap of the year through southern regions all influenced actions within the market, with both first cross ewe lambs and merino ewe lambs dearer on last week.
April 2021 may very well go down as the crest for the 15-month run up in cattle prices, with the 31% jump in supplies for the month matched by unprecedented demand. Underpinned by the continuation of the excellent seasonal conditions in eastern Australia, average prices for the month were up for more than half of the AuctionsPlus reported categories – with the largest monthly rises across the lightest steer and heifer lines.
The AuctionsPlus sheep and lamb market continued its steady path throughout April, with a total of 292,647 head offered for the month. While total supplies were back 27% on the previous month, markets were disrupted through the Easter period, as producers retained potential breeding lines with seasonal conditions remaining very favorable.
The national wool offering this week at physical selling centres was 54,899 bales (54,750 estimated) which was an increase from last week’s 48,760 bales. The AWEX Eastern Market Indicator (EMI) recorded an 8c decrease on both Tuesday and Wednesday before recovering 1c on Thursday to finish at 1,306c/kg, or 1,008c/kg in US dollar terms. Despite an increased offering this week, the pass in rate lowered to 12%, possibly due to an increased demand.
Results this week across the national AuctionsPlus young cattle categories were varied, as rain through key supply regions was welcome, with some heavier falls through previously soaked coastal regions. With overall supplies back 8% on last week, at 16,425 head, the overall clearance rate was robust, especially for the lighter steer lines.
The online market for sheep and lambs was slightly softer this week, as some good rain through the south east reportedly refreshed buyer confidence, but also renewed seller expectations. Total sheep and lamb offerings exclusively through AuctionsPlus this week reached 72,020 head, which was down slightly on last week (72,964 head) – with a surge in crossbred lambs largely offset by a sharp fall in the number of Merino wethers and shedding lambs offered.
The national wool offering eased to 48,760 bales this week at national selling centres, falling from 50,836 bales last week. The Eastern Market Indicator (EMI) recorded an 8c decrease on Tuesday and fell a further 15c on Wednesday, closing out the selling week at 1,319c/kg, or 1,019c/kg in US dollar terms. The pass in rate climbed this week to 15.2%, which is nearly three times the pass in rate of last week.
With one-third of 2021 already in the rear-view mirror, the Australian cattle market continues to defy expectations and history. Throughout April, weaner cattle prices have never been higher, rural properties are hotter than a second hand Landcruiser and confidence levels across rural Australia are well above the rest of the economy – according to AuctionsPlus inaugural confidence survey “The Gavel” (more details below).
The national young cattle market lost a little bit of its edge this week, with online prices across most steer categories falling, whilst the EYCI slipped back to under 880c/kg cwt. The 13% decline in overall online offerings, to 17,946 head, failed to halt the price declines this week, with the recent run of drier weeks reportedly starting to be reflect in buyer confidence and vendors reserve levels.
The online market for sheep and lambs was largely softer this week, despite a contraction in supplies, with offerings back 19% on the previous week, to 72,964 head. The very dry April appears to have crimped some of the buyer enthusiasm, with the clearance rates for ewe lambs and breeding lines patchy, especially for NSM merino ewes.
The national wool offering increased to 50,836 bales this week at physical selling centres, with prices also rising. There was a 4c rise recorded on Tuesday, a 19c jump on Wednesday, and a further 7c increase on Thursday – closing out the selling week at 1,342c/kg. Despite the increase in bales offered, demand was robust, with a 6.6% pass in rate for the week.
AuctionsPlus results for young cattle was stronger this week, assisted by an 8% decline in total supplies, at 20,565 head. With another record in the physical markets, online young cattle prices were dearer for all but one category, while proven and potential breeders were largely cheaper.
AuctionsPlus’ lamb and sheep prices were slightly lower this week, as overall offerings increased 12% on the previous week, to 90,112 head. While the overall market sentiment continues to be robust, the run of dry weeks and cooling nights is reportedly starting to create some fluctuations, especially across the wether categories, while restocking demand for top quality breeding lines remains extremely high.
The national wool offering saw a minor drop this week, with 40,402 bales offered compared to 46,256 the previous week that resumed post recess. The market however recorded positive results, with demand pushing the AWEX Eastern Market Indicator 27c on Tuesday and softening to 21c on Wednesday, closing the selling week at 1,312c/kg or 1012c in US dollar terms.
As the NSW cattle herd slowly climb out of a multi-decade low, the growth in the herd over the past 12 months has been initially slow, geographically uneven and for some producers, very expensive. As a follow-up from the recent “Buyer and Seller Power Rankings”, the AuctionsPlus Market Insights (AMI) team has reviewed the annual size of the NSW cattle herd on a regional basis – highlighting the massive deficit of cattle that still exists for many regions through the state.
Cattle offered through AuctionsPlus increased a further 13% this week to 22,234 head, with prices fluctuating on the previous week, as buyers appeared to be hesitant at current prices for the proven breeding lines. While the feature in the physical market for the week was an EYCI surging through the 900c/kg cwt barrier, finishing Thursday at 907.5c/kg cwt, the AuctionsPlus steer categories in c/kg terms were up for the lighter lines, while the heavier categories eased.
With a full trading week, the supply of lambs and sheep offered exclusively by AuctionsPlus rebounded to 80,588 head this week – with SIL Merino ewes and Merino wether lambs making up the two largest categories. Whilst the sellers increased their activity this week, buyers appeared to be more cautious, with the clearance rate across most of the main categories subdued, especially for selected breeding lines.
Physical auctions returned this week, after the Easter recess, with a large offering of 46,256 bales. The offering was met with a softer market throughout the week as the AWEX Eastern Market Indicator lost 7c/kg on Tuesday and a further 8c/kg on Wednesday, to close the week at 1291c/kg or 996c/kg in US dollars.
AuctionsPlus inaugural quarterly “Buyer and Seller Power Rankings” has been developed by the AuctionsPlus Market Insights (AMI) team to increase market awareness regarding the transactional trends and regional movement of sheep and lambs through Australia’s largest livestock market.
A disrupted and short-selling week failed to dampen the surge in cattle offered exclusively through AuctionsPlus this week, with total numbers hitting 19,631 head – up 167% on the previous week. Drying paddocks, changing seasons and high prices contributed to the additional numbers, along with the significant backlog of cattle that were unable to be marketed in the previous weeks.
With the Easter holiday-induced short trading week, overall sheep and lamb numbers offered exclusively through AuctionsPlus this week only totaled 42,549 head – back on the 46,681 in the previous week and less than half of the throughput registered in the previous full selling week. Overall lamb prices were largely steady, to slightly higher, except for the shedding lines, which contracted $70head in the absence of selected future breeder ewe lambs.
Widespread, record rainfall for many regions across the eastern seaboard underpinned the cattle market in March. The historically high prices were sustained for most stock categories, with only a selected few easing from February. However, looking back on this time a year ago, when rain first began falling for many regions, prices are on average 28% higher.
March was another very strong month for sheep and lambs offered exclusively through AuctionsPlus, with over 400,000 head offered for sale – registering a 73% clearance rate for the month. Widespread inland rain, especially through NSW, during the second half of the month tightened supplies considerably, as many producers looked towards planning for winter cropping programs, confident that pasture and feed supplies would be ample once the cooler conditions arrive.
AuctionsPlus inaugural quarterly Buyer and Seller Power Rankings has been developed by the AuctionsPlus Market Insights (AMI) team to increase market awareness regarding the transactional trends and regional movement of cattle through Australia’s largest cattle market.
As much of the south eastern regions of Australia continued to dry out this week, the overall supply of cattle continued to remain very tight heading into the Easter break. Total online offerings this week reached 7,365 head, with the heavier steer lines easing back, while prices for the lighter heifer lines moved higher.
In the wake of widespread falls of recent weeks, the number of sheep and lambs offered exclusively through AuctionsPlus this week was down considerably, to 46,681 head. After last weeks higher market, prices movements this week were varied, with falls for the largest lines of Merino wether and crossbred lambs, while SIL first cross ewes averaged $52/head higher.
The national wool offering saw a marginal increase in the number of bales offered this week, with a total of 48,971 compared to 46,622 the week prior. The AWEX Eastern Market Indicator rose by 9c on Tuesday and a further 6c on Wednesday, seeing the selling week close out at 1,300c, representing a proportional increase of 15c from last week’s figures or 989c in US dollars.
The widespread rain across many key cattle producing regions over the past two weeks has seen a consolidation in demand for light and young cattle at historically high levels, as available supplies plummeted this week. Rainfall through central and southern Queensland, with extensive flooding in NSW, has created significant supply and logistics issues, which is likely to be maintained for some weeks, impacting the ability to move stock off farm.
The national wool offering saw a marginal drop this week, with 46,622 bales offered as opposed to 50,603 last week. The AWEX Eastern Market Indicator rose by 6c on Tuesday and a further 2c on Wednesday to close out the selling week at 1,285c/kg, or 977c in US dollar terms.
In the wake of the very wet conditions, total lamb and sheep exclusively offered through AuctionsPlus this week contracted 21%, to 85,803 head. With the sharp contraction in supplies, prices were largely higher for all categories, especially assessed joined ewes, with the refreshed seasonal conditions adding further impetus to the rebuilding intentions.
Since their inception into the Australian sheep flock in 2011 as a shedding breed, Australian White sheep have quickly become renowned across sheep meat operations for their efficiency as self-replacing units, minimal maintenance, and superior meat quality. As the Australian lamb and shedding breed industry has continued to rise over the past couple of decades, interest in Australian White sheep - both purebred and crossbred, has also risen.
Substantial rainfall totals through key supply regions in Queensland and NSW this week contributed to prices surging across almost all categories, with last week’s loses almost completely erased. While a 4% decline in numbers offered exclusively online, at 18,430 head, partly contributed to the stronger market, demand was substantially stronger this week, as overall clearance rates for the largest steer and heifer categories exceeded 80%.
It was another large offering of sheep and lambs exclusively offered on AuctionsPlus this week, with total supplies rising 11%, to 107,418 head. After last week’s 15% increase in offerings, the flow of stock into the market over the past two weeks has had a notable impact on prices, especially for the joined ewe lines.
The national wool offering was boosted marginally by 600 bales, with a total of 50,603 bales listed, not quite reaching the 53,000 bales predicted in the previous week. The AWEX Eastern Market Indicator dropped this week by 22c on Tuesday, 9c on Wednesday and a further 1c on Thursday to close out the selling week at 1,277c/kg greasy, or 1,000c in US dollar terms.
While livestock sales have been the traditional business focus for AuctionsPlus since inception, the recent growth in online machinery and clearing sale auctions has added another platform for digital ag market interaction. Prior to 2020, machinery and clearing sales had been growing steadily through AuctionsPlus.
The Australian lamb industry over the past two decades has been a standout performer across the agricultural landscape. From a rising star in the early 2000’s, the value of the industry has consistently increased year-on-year, underpinned by a determined focus on meat quality and optimising the consumer experience – both in Australia and through export markets.
A 21% increase in AuctionsPlus cattle offerings this week, at 19,226 head, contributed to a widespread fall in prices across most categories. Prices were back across eight of the ten young cattle categories, while averages for the indicative breeding stock categories were varied.
The number of sheep and lambs offered exclusively on AuctionsPlus this week jumped 15%, to 96,643 head, with most of the increase attributable to a surge in crossbred and Merino wether lambs, with 20,052 head and 19,454 head offered, respectively. Prices were again varied, along with clearance rates, especially for joined ewes.
The national wool offering this week remained steady on the previous week as the number of bales offered dropped slightly from 50,596 to 50,062. The AWEX Eastern Market Indicator rose 7c on Wednesday but fell 8c on Thursday, closing out the selling week at 1,309c/kg greasy, or 1,014c/kg in US dollar terms.
The state of the cattle market in early March 2021 “Unprecedented” Unprecedented must be the most over used word since the Covid-19 outbreak took hold around 12-months ago. It is also the best way to explain the activities of the cattle market over the same period. The EYCI hitting 888.25c/kg cwt in the final week of January 2021 would have been well beyond all optimistic forecasts at the start of 2020, as drought conditions plagued most growing regions.
A 13% contraction in the number of cattle offered exclusively on AuctionsPlus this week had price averages for the week varied, especially for the joined and assessed female lines. From the 15,876 head offered, PTIC heifers continued to be the largest category line, followed by 200-280kg steers.
Exclusive sheep and lamb listings on AuctionsPlus this week declined marginally, contracting 101 head to total 84,127 head. The market was mixed with prices swinging both ways across the indicative categories. NSM Merino ewe hoggets and ewes reported price decreases whereas merino ewe and wether lamb categories reported increases.
The national wool offering for this week remained on par with last week after 52,656 bales were predicted while 50,596 bales were available – an increase of 458 bales on last week. The AWEX Eastern Market Indicator rose 1c on Tuesday, 2c on Wednesday and a further 1c on Thursday to close out the selling week at 1,310c/kg greasy, or 1,020c/kg in US dollar terms.
The Australian cattle market sustained its historically high level throughout February, with average prices for most categories considerably higher than the same period in 2020. While a few stock categories did ease slightly in value from January, the relatively small decrease in prices needs to be kept in context, especially when compared to the prices and seasonal conditions from the same period last year.
The supply of sheep and lambs offered exclusively on AuctionsPlus for the month of February totalled 411,733 head - a significant increase on January, which had 277,546 head listed. February weekly markets were significantly more consistent than the holiday interrupted January, which provided a clear indication of the true market - where rebuilding intentions remains the primary driver of strong prices and throughput.
Unrelenting demand for a very limited supply of light and young cattle continues to be the headline story for the cattle market. Overall cattle throughput on AuctionsPlus this week totalled 18,203 head – up 2% on last week, as average prices for most steer indicators increased, while heifer categories lost some of last week’s gains.
National wool listings increased this week with the inclusion of a designated Australian Superfine Sale. The 4,089 bales boost saw a total of 50,138 bales offered for the week. The AWEX Eastern Market Indicator fell 8c on Tuesday, was steady on Wednesday and fell a further 4c on Thursday to close out the selling week at ,1306c/kg, or 1,040c in US dollar terms. The increased offerings pushed the pass in rate up to 19.1% for the week.
The supply of sheep and lambs exclusively offered through AuctionsPlus this week contracted 13%, to 84,228 head – the second consecutive weekly decline following the very high throughput from the first two weeks of the month. Overall, the market was lower despite the contraction in supply, with 9 of the 14 indicative prices declining on last week.
In recent years the online livestock auction system has experienced significant growth, becoming the first-choice marketing channel for many farmers across Australia. However, in line with the recent growth, the most efficient and practical way to market stock online is still being determined.
It was another very strong week for sellers through AuctionsPlus this week, assisted by an 8% decline in supplies across all sales - totaling 17,867 head. The chase for young cattle continued to keep prices at all time high levels, as very willing buyers maintained clearance rates at over 90%. In contrast, prices for cows and joined stock eased back this week, with PTIC cows with calves at foot losing almost all of last week’s big gains.
National wool listings fell this week as the Tasmania feature ceased. With numbers boosted slightly by the inclusion of a New Zealand offering that totalled 1,673 bales, firming the week to close at 46,049 bales. The AWEX Eastern Market Indicator climbed 17c on Tuesday, 23c on Wednesday and a further 3c on Thursday to close out the selling week at 1,318c/kg, or 1,022c in US dollar terms.
Lamb and sheep numbers offered exclusively on AuctionsPlus declined 18% this week, to 96,723 head. While the large offerings of the previous two weeks were unable to be sustained, prices were generally higher across most categories on a $/head basis this week, despite clearance rates again varying across the categories.
One of the main features of the AuctionsPlus selling platform is the individual weights provided on each offered line in the weekly commercial sales. To be eligible to be sold through AuctionsPlus, an assessed line of sheep and lambs requires a minimum of 10% to be assessed and weighed, while for cattle it is 50% assessed and weighed.
A second consecutive week of large numbers offered exclusively online through AuctionsPlus was matched by variable prices across several categories, especially through the lighter steer and heifer lines. Offerings for the week reached 19,435 head – back 2% on the previous week, largely due to lower offerings through the mid-weight heifer lines.
National wool listings were boosted this week by the traditional February feature Tasmanian offering which went under the hammer at the Melbourne selling centre, totalling 53,261 bales offered for the week. The AWEX Eastern Market Indicator dropped 11c on Tuesday and a further 1c on Wednesday to close out the selling week at 1273c/kg, or 985c in US dollar terms.
Exclusive sheep and lamb offerings through AuctionsPlus were back slightly this week, moderating last weeks large jump across both online and physical markets. Sheep and lambs offered through AuctionsPlus for the past week totalled 118,232 head – back 5% on the previous week.
Described as ‘record high,’ ‘phenomenal’ and ‘astounding’, the Australian cattle market for January 2021 has surged well beyond most expectations. The AuctionsPlus Market Insights (AMI) team has reviewed AuctionsPlus exclusive listing data to compare January 2020 and January 2021 to showcase the rapid rise in cattle prices and the increase in online listings.
The AuctionsPlus Market Insights (AMI) team has undertaken a year-on-year (YOY) comparison between January 2020 and January 2021 for the national sheep and lamb market - highlighting the complete contrast in seasonal conditions between the two periods and increased focus upon online selling.