A SMALL number of negative market signals has taken the shine off what was anticipated to be a buoyant Elders Wycheproof store sheep sale last Friday.
A reasonable gathering of buyers, mainly from the state’s west, competed for a high-quality presentation of predominantly Merino breeding sheep, and displayed unusual caution, bidding sparingly, particularly on the younger and more-higher priced lines.
In his post-market interview with Sheep Central, auctioneer Kevin Thompson, Elders, conceded that buyer enthusiasm was more subdued than had been anticipated.
“In hindsight, the recent softer trends of the lamb, mutton and wool markets have all had a negative influence on the demand here today.
“Although the markets for all three commodities are still quite sound and their respective outlooks encouraging, the enthusiasm might have been better,” Mr. Thompson said.
The weather he said is also very concerning in some areas.
“Conditions here locally in our surrounding districts have never been better for this time of the year, but the area has been extensively cropped.
“This could open up buying opportunities in the post-harvest period but for now most of our traders are sitting tight,” he said.
Mr. Thompson also said seasonal conditions in their traditional buying areas are contrasting.
“In the areas to our north the season is showing signs of collapse while in the areas to our south are perhaps too wet to consider restocking.”
A line of recently shorn, scanned-empty yard of 2018 drop crossbred young ewes opened the sale, but failed to draw further interest beyond an opening bid of $225. The pen of 269 was offered by DA White of Boort and was snapped up by Elders Bendigo. Further yards of young crossbred ewes, July 2018 drop and sporting a February shorn skin, drew greater interest following a brief flurry of bids. The tops of the 116 unjoined ewes from Mt View at Wycheproof made $250 and a second pen of 150 made $240. A one-off yard of 253 Uardry-blood Dohne breeding ewes, May/June 2018 drop and August shorn, made $175, selling again to the Bendigo office of Elders.
Merino ewes sells to $262
At the beginning of the Merino run, a line of June 2017 drop, Wyuna blood ewes, made $262 a head.
The 367 January shorn ewes were imported from West Australia last spring and grown out over the past year by JA (Jamie) Ison of Thalia. They all sold to DMD Horsham. A second line of Eastville blood February shorn June/July 2018 drop ewes from the Ison family made $210 to DMD Horsham.
A line of autumn shorn June/July 2018 drop Cramphorne blood ewes made $202 and three pens of late winter shorn ewes then sold consistently from $222-$224 for the best and from $194-$196 for those not so well grown.
Younger ewes more keenly supported
Consistent with demand in recent years, lines of two and three year-old ewes, most with young lambs freshly removed, were more keenly supported than their younger counterparts. These sold from $157-$190.
The annual draft of NSW-bred five year-old Tamaleuca-blood ewes from Gulthul Station, Euston, was offered off-shears (August-shorn) by the Lesley family from their ‘Narraglen’ property near Glenloth. These made from $106-$148 in three drafted lines, selling to buyers at Horham, Hamilton and Balmoral.
To complete the sale, a drafted line of 750 April shorn June/July 2018 drop, Hyfield blood Merino wethers made $134 for the lead yard of 619 and $126 for about 150 head.
Rodwells Cohuna agent Thomas Mackenzie and his grandson Solomon Mackenzie, of Horfield, were first time buyers of young ewes at Wycheproof on Friday. Mr Mackenzie is a prominent cattle agent in the northern irrigation region and has recently been assisting clients like his grandson transition away from dairy into other grazing enterprises. They paid $160 for 2016 drop May shorn Merino ewes to join to terminal sires.