A small gathering of grazier and processor buyers bid better than expected prices at the Wycheproof store sheep sale on Friday.
Defying the dry weather and summers searing heat, the two-pronged buying attack bid to $278 a head a yard of scanned in lamb crossbred young ewes while several pens of SIL Merino ewes received bids exceeding $200 to $210/head.
The surprise packet of the 6700 head Elders end-of-January sale was the unusually larger attendance of processor buyers.
This group of bidders underpinned the ewe market when opportunities arose, and pounced upon and absorbed the majority of the wether lamb drafts despite seeming adequate numbers being offered in lead-up weekly prime markets.
On recent sale reports he had heard Jim Coffey, Elders, said prices achieved on the day were well up on pre-sale expectations.
We were expecting a difficult sale. Most of our sheep were sold to areas in the south and west of state where the feed has now dried and some talk has begun to emerge of water shortages but it had no ill-effect on prices.
Opening the sale and topping the market, RE, SF and AJ Coatsworth, Teddywaddy West, offered a January-shorn yard of 122 Border Leicester Merino ewes, May/June 16-drop, that were 1st November-depastured to White Suffolk and Poll Dorset rams.
These, after a tentative opening bid of $170, were eventually knocked down at $278 to Landmark Ballarat while two sales of September-shorn, unjoined, spring 17-drop ewe lambs made $225 a head for TR Barry Family Trust and PG & CE Sewell, both of Culgoa.
Sales of 2018 autumn-drop ewe lambs were next to test the market. These saw bids rise to $230 and $232 a head for the Doonan familys, Nedna and Juilett Pastoral Company, Woomelang while the second drafts of each made $214 and $202/head respectively.
The display of Merino ewes, both scanned in lamb and unjoined, was of a high standard and defied the difficulties of the season.
KP& EV Sait, Charlton offered three age groups of Moojepin-blood ewes depastured to WS rams from December-15.
June-shorn, these made to a best of $210 a head for the 2015-drop lot, and $148 a head for a mixed age group while the 2016-drop line remained unsold when bidding ceased, below the vendors reserve, at $208 a head.
The Coffey familys Fermoy ewes, May//June 17-drop, August-shorn, Lewisdale-blood, SIL to WS rams also made $204 a head while other SIL two and three year-old spring shorn lots, made $160 to $182 a head.
As mentioned Merino wether lamb lots were hotly contested by the processing trade.
The Pollard familys, Shingle Hut, Wallaloo Park-blood wether lambs were sold, unshorn after receiving a bid of $146 a head from Midfield Meats.
The order also claimed, at $135, an October-shorn lot, Wanganella-blood, by GK & RJ Issac, while other processor-bought shorn lots made $93 to $122/head.