Demand surges for SIL ewes

SIL ewes 'hot property' as producers fast track restocking

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Producers recovering from drought have been eager to restock as quickly as possible, making scanned-in-lamb ewes hot property this year.

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EWES: Emmaville, NSW, SIL ewes offered on AuctionsPlus this week.

EWES: Emmaville, NSW, SIL ewes offered on AuctionsPlus this week.

OPEN UP: The wool on the SIL ewes.

OPEN UP: The wool on the SIL ewes.

Scanned-in-lamb ewes have been hot property for much of the year but that trend is beginning to show signs of slowing down.

Producers from Central West NSW have been the dominant buyers of SIL ewes, as well as ewes with lambs at foot, as their season turns around and they look to restock as quickly as possible.

A lot of this trade has been conducted online through AuctionsPlus and market analyst from the platform Michael McManus said demand had been consistently strong throughout the entire year, with clearance rates for SIL articles sitting between 60 and 90 per cent.

Mr McManus said there had been an extremely large volume of SIL stock offered on the box this year, so therefore the demand had been quite strong considering.

"Listings have been significantly higher than previous years with the numbers seen for 2020 already exceeding numbers seen for the 12 months of 2017, 2018 and 2019," he said.

"In March alone there was 124,625 head of joined ewes offered on the system."

He said Central West NSW had purchased 97,865 SIL head year to date, considerably ahead of the Riverina who secured the second largest amount of stock with 66,728.

Demand has also been present from northern Victoria.

Prices for SIL stock have held strong on the back of the strong demand, with joined ewes averaging $277 a head year to date, joined hoggets averaging $303 and joined lambs averaging $298.

Mr McManus said these prices were considerably higher than previous years, with all three categories up around $100 from last year's average price.

When it came to ewes with lambs at foot, restocker demand surged at the start of the year after the eastern seaboard experienced widespread rain.

"In the first three months of the year almost the entire catalogue of ewes and lambs offered online found a buyer with the clearance sitting in the high 90s," he said.

"Lately we have started to see clearance for the stock category decrease as the sheep and lamb market has started to come off due to the uncertainty of many external factors.

"Demand has slowed as the restocking surge at the start of the year has started to reduce due to many areas getting back towards pre-drought."

Central West NSW was busy buying ewes with lambs at foot, year to date securing 4902 units with August already seeing 1472 head purchased by the region.

He said prices had been significantly stronger on previous years, with the average price for good quality ewes and lambs sitting at $311.

KMWL livestock agent Brendan Mansbridge, Forbes, NSW, has been assisting his clients with buying and selling on AuctionsPlus and said demand had been so strong for SIL ewes because the return on investment was quicker for those looking to bounce back after drought.

Mr Mansbridge said the season had turned around for Central West NSW and producers were eager to get more sheep on the ground.

"We've had a massive swing from where we were six months ago," he said.

"Some places have had more than twice the amount of rain they had received all of last year and others have already exceeded their average rainfall for the year.

"With SIL ewes, you know what you're getting production-wise and it's not a huge amount of time until you've got a product on the ground."

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