Ewe buyer confidence lifted at Jerilderie on Friday on the back of patchy rain falling across more removed areas of central NSW.
Although rainfall across the main southern buying districts was deemed as insignificant, the enthusiasm that emerged, simply because it had rained somewhere, added as much as $20, and up to $40 a head on most previously undervalued drought capped prices.
The Elders Limited market of 20,000 head was the 16th annual John Wells Memorial sale, and it was opened for the first time by Australian Livestock and Property Agents chief executive, Andy Madigan.
The highest priced lot, and a first-time winner of the John Wells Memorial shield, was offered by Mark and Fiona Wettenhall, Jerilderie trading as Cara Plains.
Their August-shorn line of 200 Willandra-blood, April/May 17-drop ewes, made $280 a head selling to repeat buyer, RH Blake & Co, Wagga Wagga for Malcolm McKenzie of Coolamon.
Close behind, priced at $268 a head, was another Willandra-blood yard of 400 Sleigh Pastoral ewes, May-June 17-drop while a second-draft of the highly regarded Sleigh Pastoral ewes made $262.
Don Bull’s Woodpark-blood, Irroy ewes (sold at $266) and Day Farm’s Wanganella-blood young ewes ($260) were other district breeder’s lots sold at prices above $250.
A raft of young ewes presented in plainer condition were also cleared at the confidence-boosted higher rates. These were mostly exchanged at rates between $150 to $210 while pens of 16-drop, two year-olds, made $168 and $178 a head.
Pens of four and five year-old ewes were also pursued with greater enthusiasm. These were sold from $150 to $174 for the four year-old group and $126 to a best of $185 for April-shorn line of Willandra-blood and bred five year-old ewes.
The demand for wether lambs was somewhat more subdued. These were sold a firm rates for $38 to $80 however while most lots offered freshness most were small and young in age.