AuctionsPlus Market Insights
May 21, 2019
While Merino lambs dominated AuctionsPlus lamb listings in the 2018-19 season, an AuctionsPlus Markets Insights Team (AMI) analysis of other breeds and joining decisions discovered some interesting trends for the past season.
Looking at lambs traded through the platform between June 2018 and March 2019 (lambs under the age of 12 months, out of Merino and Poll Merino dams, offered as mixed-sex or wethers lines only), the three most widely used sires in the data analysed, excluding Merino, were White Suffolk, Border Leicester and Poll Dorset.
White Suffolk sired lambs dominated listings, accounting for 36% of all first cross lambs offered through AuctionsPlus. Total White Suffolk lamb throughput increased 3% on the previous year (see Table 1). The top five listing regions for White Suffolk/Merino lambs were interestingly widespread over three states, covering the Riverina, Central West NSW, NSW South West Slopes & Plains, the SA Riverland & Mallee and Northern Victoria, respectively.
Border Leicester sired lambs accounted for 28% of throughput, with listings down 16% year-on-year. Border Leicester/Merino numbers were heavily concentrated through Northern NSW, with the NW Slopes & Plains and Central West making up close to 60% of listings. The very tough seasonal conditions in recent years could have been the main contributor to the 16% decline, given the other breed classifications registered year-on-year increases. This was reflected in the breakdown of mixed-sex versus wether only lots offered through the system, with wether only lines making up a larger percentage of the Border Leicester sired lamb offering than in other breeds.
Poll Dorset sired lambs accounted for 23% of listing in 2018-19, with Poll Dorset/Merino listings notably more heavily concentrated towards southern NSW. In terms of year-on-year growth, this equates to a 49% growth between the 16-17 and 17-18 season, with 20% growth between 17-18 and 18-19. Interestingly, buyer demand for Poll Dorset sired lambs was indicatively stronger than other breeds, despite the large growth in listings, receiving a national clearance of 83% in 18-19. While overall numbers were significantly lower, several other sire breeds, including Composites, Dorset Horns and Primeline, recorded clearance rates above 90%.
Looking at prices received across weight categories in 2018-19 (see Figure 2), Poll Dorset sired lambs weighing under 25kgs averaged $85/head, while both White Suffolks and Border Leicesters averaged $81/head. In the 30-35kg and 35-40kg weight ranges, Poll Dorsets lambs sold $5 and $2 above the next breed respectively. White Suffolks averaged $1 up from other breeds in both the 25-30kg and above 40kg weight categories.