THERE was a diminished harvest crowd and plenty of buying opportunities to be found at the Elders Wycheproof November store sheep sale on Friday.
With the grain harvest in full swing across northwest and the threat of stormy weather on radar, a much smaller than normal attendance of buyers supported the sale of 16,000 that contained excellent drafts of crossbred ewe maidens and breeders first-cross ewe lambs.
However with an absence of specialist prime lamb breeders among the assembled lead drafts of young crossbred ewes failed to achieve the heights of the previous local sales falling well short of the mark by at least $30 to $40 a head.
As a result crossbred one- to 1.5-year-old young ewes mostly made $120 to $140 a head, with some smaller framed lots sold from $86 to $110.
This year's drop of breeders’ ewe lambs also met restricted demand making $118 to $124 for joinable types, while speculator restocking lines made from $65 to $100.
Elders’ Jim Coffey said the market did “drag the chain” on the market’s top-end lots in the crossbred section but better inquiry came forward and prices were “closer to the mark” on lots that needed improving.
Demand was also solid for Merino types, Mr Coffey said.
Opening the sale was a line of 192 BLM-cross young ewes, Sept/October-drop, with 110 per cent of marked White Suffolk lambs at foot, which made $204 a head.
Sold by the Thompson family, Bushy Lodge, these were secured by TB White and Sons of Ballarat while a pen of 4.5 year-old BLM-cross ewes sold by T & R Allan with 121pc of PD lambs at foot and re-depastured made $138.
Andrew Jones and Company sold at $140, the market’s best priced draft of young ewe maidens: a line of 350 Aug/September-drop that was OJD vaccinated.
JG Warne sold a Sept/Oct-drop pen of 255 at $130 while JG & JL McSwain sold a Nov/December-drop at $132.
In the 12-drop ewe lamb section A & R Gawne of Barraport sold an April/May-drop pen of 218 October shorn ewe lambs at $124 while Andrew Lockhart “Andsharra” Mysia sold a similar description pen of 264 at $118 as a host of secondary smaller-framed lines made $70 to $100, and some young unshorn ewe lambs made $49 to $50.
While the demand for the large display of crossbred sheep was lacklustre buyer interest in obtaining wool-cutters intensified and lead to steadier prices for merino ewes and merino wether lambs.
McRae Oaks sold an April-shorn line of Oakbank-blood young ewes Aug/September-drop at $162. These were OJD vaccinated and mulesed while W Gould sold a Willandra-blood pen of May 11-drop young ewes September shorn at $138.
Depastured young ewes Canowie-blood and bred, joined to White Suffolk rams and August shorn, made $140 while a line of 514 rising 2.5 year-old ewes Winjallock-blood and bred made $90 for the T&G Simpson Winjallock.
Pens of 5.5 year-old years made $59 to $63, topping at $74.
And, while several buyers from processing fraternity attended restockers dominated turning out all pens of aged ewes and wether lambs into paddocks at Ararat, Geelong, Yarrawonga, Stawell, Jeparit and Nullawil.
David and Simon Ettershank Murrayview Murrabit sold pens of Tamaleuca-blood shorn wether lambs from $44, to a top of $57 while T& G Simpson sold 640 of their Winjallock blood and bred shorn wether lambs at $48 and $41.
Crossbred wether lambs made $43 to $69, shorn, and $37 and $38.50, unshorn.
The sale was conducted by Elders Wycheproof with Wycheproof Associated agents to conduct the centre’s final sale for the year on December 7.