Ewe lambs soar to $288 at Naracoorte

AFTER starting tentatively, bids soared to a season high of $288 for first-cross ewe lambs at Naracoorte last Thursday, where 31,800 breeders lambs were penned.

Eager South Australian and increased Victorian interest pushed prices to an overall average of $205.70 a head – $27/hd better than a year ago when a sensational top of $300/hd was achieved.

In contrast to 1.5-year-old and breeding ewe sales at Naracoorte a week-earlier, a larger percentage of the yarding was vaccinated against the sheep wasting disease, Ovine Johnes, however the increased portion was not overly significant and rather disappointing given the controversy.

The sale’s best presented pen was award to specialist first-cross breeder Schulz Livestock, Coonalpyn, SA – a winner of this award on five previous occasions.

The Schulz’s first pen of 104, May/April-drop by SuperBorder rams, claimed the market top of $288, while a second pen of 103 made $262.

Their entire line of 266 was snapped up by repeat buyer Craig Stewart, Wimmera Downs, near Stawell.

A volume vendor selling early in the market was Ian Farley, Marmon Hills, Jabuk, SA.

He achieved the market’s second best price of $276, with the Marmon Hill consignment of 2268 av $241.23.

Half of this consignment was sought out by first time Naracoorte buyer Goulburn Valley Water, Shepparton.

The market, as mentioned, opened somewhat cautiously with the large crowd tentative towards price expectation.

This varied prices ($24-$40/hd) during the early parts of the sale for no apparent reason however, when the prominence of the known lines increased bidding and resultant prices became much more stable.

This solid demand then continued through the sale until another brief flat spot re-occurred before the market again found its legs to finish strongly.

Some other notable sales included a line of 2268 South Mallee-bred ewes from last year’s market toppers CE&AS Pocock, Lameroo, SA, that made to $244, av $218.

FB Lock & Sons sold from their Warrawee and Conkar Park properties – 2698 SuperBorder ewe lambs that made to $240, av $207.

Most first draft lines suitable for an immediate joining made $220-$255 with a handful sold higher.

Later joining ewe lambs made $190-$225, while restocker lines mostly made $160-$195.

Victorian buying was widespread from Shepparton, South Gippsland and Stawell and included the usual strong contingent from the lower south-west comprising Hamilton, Heywood, Casterton, Portland and Warrnambool.

South Australian buying interest was dominated by the lower south-east including Mount Gambier, Penola, Millicent and Naracoorte with support offered from Strathalbyn and the Adelaide Hills.

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