MERINO ram demand reached new heights at the Australian Sheep and Wool show’s annual sale in Bendigo on Sunday.
In a sale indicating renewed stud and commercial Merino confidence, breeders paid up to $32,000 each for three rams and another made $30,000.
Joint selling agents Elders and Landmark sold 88 rams for an average of $5556.25, more than $2100 higher than last year.
Landmark Merino specialist Stephen Chalmers said the sale’s clearance rate of 82 percent indicated strong confidence in the stud and commercial Merino industry, and a desire to breed more Merino ewes.
“People are talking about joining all Merino rams and not joining any crossbreds to tail-end sheep.”
Elders stud stock advisor Jim Bruce said changing the sale date from Monday to Sunday had increased the crowd and created more interest in the rams.
“There is plenty of interest in wool and in livestock breeding businesses at the moment, so everything contributed to a buoyant atmosphere, I think.”
Mr Bruce said the real winning statistic of the sale was the multi-vendor sale’s 82pc clearance.
“I think it would be a fair measure of breeding industry confidence and we are seeing that in multi-vendor sales for cattle as well.
“The breeding business is buoyant, people are looking to breed more Merino ewes and so they want to breed good ones,” he said.
“This sale and the sale at Hamilton early next month will probably be strong barometers for demand at the spring Merino ram sales.
“We know that at a lot of the on-property sales we will be running, the vendors are motivated to meet the needs of their clients who are looking to grow and in particular improve their flock.”
Landmark Hamilton agent Kevin Beaton said the strength of the sale indicated renewed confidence in the rural industry generally.
He believed holding the ram sale on a Sunday also helped the result and it augured well for the Hamilton Sheepvention sale next month.
“People who would normally pack up and go home on a Sunday have hung around and maybe had a crack at buying a ram.”
The first ram to make $32,000 at the sale was Lot 3, an August-shorn 12 month-old 17.8 micron Langdene ram from the Dunedoo stud in New South Wales, that was bought by I. and C. Greenwood of Yass, NSW.
Langdene sold the top-priced ram at the 2016 sale for $15,000, but stud principal Garry Cox said the $32,000 price was the best ever for the stud.
“There was definitely more interest this year from the whole industry.
“With the spike in the wool market, current prices and the prices of sheep and lambs, people haven’t seen it better.”
The Merryville Merino stud from Boorowa, NSW, then sold Lot 39, a rising three year-old August shorn 15.6 micron ram, to Victoria Valley breeder John Crawford from the Rock-Bank stud.
The Western Australian stud, East Mundalla at Tarin Rock, sold Lot 109, a 19.6 micron 15 month-old March-shorn ram for $32,000, to Roger Mathews from Overlea Holdings, Lowesdale, NSW.
The Alfoxton stud at Armidale, NSW, sold Lot 14, a 22 month-old 16.9 micron August shorn ram, to Mayfield Winton at Beaufort, Victoria, for $30,000. The Coddington Uardry Poll stud from Cumnock, NSW, sold Lot 6, a 20 month-old August shorn 15.7 micron ram, for $22,000 to Duncan Clawes. A Merino ewe from the Grathlyn stud at Mudgee, NSW, sold for $4000 to C.C. Wheatley.