Joined Merino ewes sell to $266 at Deniliquin sale, Dohnes to $255

Terry Sim January 23, 2017
These 2011 drop Dohne ewes sold for up to $198 at Deniliquin on Friday.

These 2011 drop Dohne ewes sold for up to $198 at Deniliquin on Friday.

WOOL and lamb prices helped lift restocking sheep values at the Riverina crossbred and Merino ewe sale at Deniliquin last Friday.

Elders livestock operations manager for southern Australia Ron Rutledge said the store sheep market had hovered at the same level for 6-8 months.

“Now we’ve seen the store sheep market go from third into fourth gear in a five-speed economy.

“In the last six months we’ve seen young unjoined Merino ewes make $150-$200, now we are seeing Merino ewes go from $200-$250,” he said.

“Now most of those young ewes are joined and they are going for $250-plus.”

The three selling agents Elders, Landmark and Rodwells offered more than 33,000 sheep in the sale, held after an 25mm of rain had fallen. The sale averaged $151.91 per head.

Elders sold June-July 2015 drop September shorn Merino ewes joined to White Suffolk rams for $266 at the sale and most joined or scanned-in-lamb young Merino ewes made $160-$200. Unjoined Merino ewes reached $246 and older joined or scanned-in-lamb Merino ewes made $150-$190.

Elders sold the feature line of Coonong Station June-July 2014-drop September shorn Dohne ewes, joined to White Suffolk rams and scanned carrying twins, for up to $255, with the seconds making $250.

Coornong Station’s 2011 drop scanned twinning ewes made $198 and $170, and the single scanned ewes sold for $185 and $168.

Rodwells sold unjoined October shorn April-May 2016 drop first cross ewes from Ulonga, Hay to $240, with the seconds making $240 and other lines of young first cross ewes making $164-$235. Landmark sold a line of unjoined May-June 2016 drop October shorn first cross ewes for $235, and Elders sold Melrose’s April-May drop December shorn first cross ewes for $224. The 2014 drop ewes carrying singles made $221 for the tops and $217 for the seconds.

Shorn Merino lambs sold to $132 for Tibor’s April-May 2016 drop August shorn Gunbar blood wethers. Others made from $86-$128. Woolly Merino wether lambs made to $120 for Netherby’s July-August 2016 drop unshorn Egelabra blood lambs. Older Merino wethers sold to $128 for Rodwell’s offering of the Talkook June-July 2014 drop June shorn East Loddon blood sheep.

Mr Rutledge said the price lift was stronger for older ewes, he said, recognising their value as a sounder investment for lamb production,” he said.

“The good wool travellers are telling us that an average Merino ewe is cutting $7 a month, so $7 by 12 months (at $84) is a fair return at these price levels, that they are saying will be around for quite some time.

“So the $250 investment is negated substantially with wool price and putting a lamb in at $120, it’s a sound investment.”

Mr Rutledge said he was advising people to compare the costs and returns of buying 100 Angus steers with putting the same amount of money into Merino ewes.

“It’s a non-brainer – the ewes are 30 percent in front in net returns.”

In contrast to the cattle market with its strong steer prices, Mr Rutledge said “all the upside” in the store sheep market was in the breeding ewe sector.

“The wether market was OK without being exceptional.”

Mr Rutledge said the sale attracted one of the biggest crowds seen for many years at a Riverina sheep sale, reflecting the value producers saw in seeing stock sold live so they can assess their value in a physical market.

“That’s the first sale we have had since spring in the Riverina and people like to see real sale value in real time.”

Sheep sold to buyers in Victoria and throughout Forbes, Bathurst, Condoblin.

Source: Elders.


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