Forward contract lamb sale on again

Forward contract lamb sale on again


Elders Forward Contract Lamb Sale on again in August

ELDERS agent and AuctionsPlus level one professional assessor Dean Hubbard successfully conducted the inaugural Elders WA Forward Contract Lamb Sale during August 2018 with the 2019 return of the sale keenly anticipated.


Mr Hubbard, who is WA Elders Zone West commercial sheep manager, offered 10,700 lambs online last year driven by the desire to offset the traditional price trough for producers in late September and early October when the seasonal flush of lambs hit the market.

The 2018 sale was conducted in the standard AuctionsPlus online helmsman style of auction where all lots are open at once with bidders able to jump between any lot.

All lambs were sold on a cents per kilogram liveweight basis.

After 30 minutes of the sale being open, a 30 second timer commenced which resets every time a bid is placed and once the timer reached zero the auction would be concluded.

The 2018 sale ran for 31 minutes, with a total of 36 registered bidders from South Australia and WA.

Once the sale closed all bids are final with a sale contract drawn up between buyer and seller.

Prior to cataloguing, Mr Hubbard sat down one-on-one with all vendors to outline the sale process.

The lambs were inspected and assessed by an AuctionsPlus-accredited assessor.

The assessor ascertains objective and subjective measurements including breed, weight, fat score, sex break-up, wool length, grazing conditions, stock history and bloodlines.

From here, the assessor works with the vendor to predict potential weight gain in order to pick a delivery period in which the lambs will meet the required buyer specifications.

Last year's results had lambs delivered between 31-40kg with the heaviest end greater than 35kg drawing a premium.

Delivery periods ranged from 21 days post sale through to just less than four months.

Interestingly, South Australian buyers were considerably more active on the later delivered lambs, reportedly helping to sure up supplies heading into the Christmas period.

While an exact comparison is difficult, an analysis against Meat and Livestock Australia's Muchea saleyard young lamb price revealed the online prices maintained a consistently higher return, with the seasonal downturn in late September and early October giving the largest price premium.

Upon delivery of the lambs Mr Hubbard and his fellow Elders WA sheep assessors auto-drafted all lambs to specifications to ensure the buyer received what was described at the assessment.

Lambs were then weighed at the nearest registered weighbridge.

Throughout this whole process the assessor, vendor and buyer were kept in close contact to ensure the stock were delivered to the assessment standards as ?per contract.

Looking forward, Mr Hubbard anticipates offering about 40,000 lambs online in August 2019 and has urged more of his clients to consider the forward contract lamb sales.

"The upcoming sale allows clients to spread risk, particularly during the three-month live export ban during the Middle Eastern summer, from June 1, 2019," Mr Hubbard said.

Further to this, Mr Hubbard expects additional support from lotfeeders and growers, looking to put lambs back onto wheat stubbles.

Mr Hubbard said he had already received interest from South Australian and Victorian buyers, signalling the potential for a strong selling season in WA.


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