High cattle prices set to drive Deniliquin sale sheep demand

Terry Sim, January 14, 2021

These 19-20 month-old first cross ewe hoggets, SIL 142pc to Poll Dorsets, from ‘Muskerry, will be offered by Elders at the Deniliquin sale tomorrow.

RESTOCKING demand at the annual Deniliquin Store Sheep Sale tomorrow is expected to be boosted by sheep producers seeking to lift numbers after recent rain and others looking for options to paying high prices for beef weaners.

The AuctionsPlus-interface sale of about 18,000 first cross and Merino ewes and lambs starts at 11am tomorrow and will be covered live by Sheep Central’s Murray Arnel, with a pre-sale interview and sale report posted on the Sheep Central Facebook page. Click here to see the full AuctionsPlus sale catalogue.

Elders livestock manager at Deniliquin Jason Andrews said he is expecting demand to be very strong.

“Simply because a lot of northern, central west and western New South Wales has had a lot of rain and there are not a lot of sheep sale being held and this is an annual fixture that people come to.

“The fat market has increased and we’ve had timely rain.”

These Southdown and White Suffolk cross store lambs from T. and J. Clarke will be offered by Arentz Barker SRPL at Deniliquin.

Mr Andrews said some producers are considering including sheep in their program following the very strong beef weaner sales.

“You would find that the cattle prices are out of the reach of a lot of guys – 550-600c/kg for 300kg steers.

“With the higher cattle prices, lack of numbers and particularly rain in the cattle areas of northern New South Wales and Queensland, and a significant price strike, I think there are probably some producers that would be thinking about putting sheep into their farming program.”

Mr Andrews said Deniliquin area sheep numbers in the last 12 months have stayed relatively stable due to the season, but before that there was probably a sell-down of older sheep in the Hay region to the north and to the west due to continuing dry conditions.

He is expecting demand to be strong for all categories with rain having fallen on Merino and crossbred areas.

These joined June-July 2019 drop Moojepin blood Merino ewes from Tibora will be sold by Nutrien at the Deniliquin sale.

Nutrien agent Marc Braybon said pre-sale enquiry has been reasonable, including from interstate, but probably affected by interfacing the sale with AuctionsPlus for the first time.

“I think the strong cattle job is going to help our enquiry and the sheep will sell pretty well.”

Arentz Barker SRLP agent Steve Arentz said the sheep would present in reasonable order and some lines could sell in the buyer’s favour

“There will be a big upside to anyone who buys them, because once the dryland grass dried off this year, it hasn’t been that great.”

Mr Andrews said the makeup up of the yarding will be as usual, apart from fewer first cross ewe lambs, due to the strong demand for these sheep through Spring.

“We’ve probably seen a few lines of first cross ewe lambs that would normally come to this sale, sold earlier, simply because of the strength of that crossbred ewe job in the Spring.”

The Merino ewe and wether numbers would be similar to other years, he said.


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