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Agonline Market Update
9 October 2018

Livestock Market Update October 2018

Spring is now with us and as we round off the yearling sales season across the country sheep are achieving exceptional prices in the North. Catch up on all the commentary below.

North Island

As we hit September a weather front hit the North Island and lingered over the East Coast and inland to the Central Plateau. This storm has been devastating for farmers in these areas. 

Although it was a quieter month since we saw exceptional sheep values achieved through the yards, streets ahead of the values achieved at the works. 

Yearling and service bull sales are in full swing with most achieving good clearances and sale price averages exceeding expectations to date.

Most of the North Island has had its fair share of moisture now, and with the days getting longer and the sun out again we should see feed conditions moving again.  At a time when the demand for stock will escalate it may be hard to source.

South Island

October has started with a rush, as dairy bull sales have begun, spring cattle sales throughout the South Island and the last of the last years lambs making their way to the works.

Spring conditions have been ideal, other than the odd cold southerly snap which come with territory in spring. In most of the areas there has been good growth conditions, ideal for shutting up paddocks for supplementary feed and putting condition on stock.

As most districts are well through their lambing’s, coupled with favourable weather, the lamb survival rate has been good. Indications Lamb and Sheep pricing look to remain strong for the coming season.


Spring sales activity in dairy has been increasingly influenced by farmers placing a premium on traceability.

Service bull sales are proceeding well, with farmers becoming increasingly committed to securing bulls that are fully traceable. A single origin is preferable, and if not, the least number of movements possible is what the market seeks. That goes for all sales, whether yearling Jersey bulls to two-year-old beef bulls. In fact, for all stock purchases now, including heifers sold prior to mating, farmers are asking the same questions, with the traceability aspect being a non-negotiable.

There is a new “normal”, with the market realising that industry good recommendations are sound advice, and responding accordingly.


Yearling bull sales are coming to a conclusion in the North Island and starting in the South Island. Bull prices and sale clearances so far have been strong due to strong demand to source Bulls from reputable breeders and continued strong two year old sales.

As Christmas approaches it’s the time of year to start thinking about ram selection for next season. With the outlook for the lamb schedule looking positive, there is no better time to get in contact with your local livestock rep or genetics specialist for advice when purchasing rams whether your focus is growth rate, fertility or yield to maximise your bottom line.

With the wide variety of rams available at auction or on farm we have got you covered.

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