YOUNG unjoined first cross ewes sold to $344 at the Corowa Blue Ribbon First Cross Ewe Sale yesterday.
Elders auctioneer Steve Grantham sold 287 of W. & D Bott’s March/April 2018 drop September shorn ewes from their Emu Park property at Coreen for the top price to BR & C Swan Hill client and repeat buyer Peter Redfern of Moulamein.
BR&C agent John Sawyer said Mr Redfern had been buying the ewes for the past 10 years. They would be joined to Poll Dorset rams.
The first run of 200 Bott ewes sold for $342 to a Shepparton buyer, followed by another 370 for the same price to a Landmark Kyneton buyer, before Mr Redfern bought his run. Another 400 Bott ewes sold for $326.
Mr Sawyer said the ewes were good buying with current lamb and mutton prices.
“You get $200 for your lambs and $150 for your old sheep and that’s $350, which covers it.”
The 1.5 year-old ewes in the sale
Most of the 2018-drop first cross 1.5 year-old sold from $300-$330, with most second runs making $270-$300, but as low as $240. Ewe lambs sold to $262 twice with not many under $200. The 10,000 breeder’s ewes sold to strong competition mainly to local buyers and from further south, although some ewes went to Yarrawonga. Victorian buyers were strong, with ewes sold to Hamilton, Leongatha, Swan Hill, Kyneton and Wangaratta.
Mr Grantham every vendor’s top young ewes basically made $300 or more at the Corowa sale, but he believes that there is “a lot of upside” in the store sheep market.
“It was a good sale in the present climate and where we are at and it is as good as they’ve been, but I think there is still room for improvement in the store sheep job.”
Mr Grantham said many commentators were saying that the lack of rainfall was holding back buyers.
“I just think people aren’t prepared to pay the money.
“They are happy to take $200 for a fat old ewe and $200 for a sucker, but they only want to pay $300 for a young ewe, which is pretty good going,” he said.
“I’m selling pens of beautiful ewes and you are in the $290s and I’m looking at a bloke and saying ‘you shouldn’t be able to buy them for it’ and you shouldn’t.
“We had 14 vendors yesterday with first cross ewes and two of them will not have any more,” he said.
“I think that the young Merino ewes and the young first cross ewes, all spring, have been too cheap, and there is a big upside (coming) in the store ewe caper to be had at some point.
“I’m not saying we are going to see it this year though.”
Other Elders 1.5 year-old ewe prices included: Rebbur, 309 @ $330; G. & L. Lewis, 180 @ $319; P. Drum, 174 @ $324; B.G. & M.H. Playford, 243 @ $300; Inglmar Pastoral Co, 150 @ $310, 100 @ $302; K. & C. Wardius, 205 @ $303; D.G. McFarlane, 281 @ $300, 58 @ $272; A.W. & W.M. Strachan, 229 @ $295, 208 @ $174; K.R. & T. Williams, 149 @ $312.
Ewe lambs sell to $262
Corcoran Parker sold two runs of first cross ewe lambs for the top price of $262. These were 103 May drop off-shears lambs from Sunshine Farms, Brockelsby, to a local buyer and 242 April/May drop September shorn lambs from J.W. Boyd, Uyanyah, Brockelsby.
CP agent Rob Cameron said the sale was generally very strong, and the ewe lambs sold extremely well. Corcoran Parker also sold Jul/August drop September shorn ewes for Deleware Pastoral Co, Brockelsby, for $314.
Paul & Scollard Landmark agent Richard Wynne said the sale’s prices could have been $30-$40 higher if there was competition from NSW buyers, but the season is affecting demand. The agency sold May drop September shorn ewes for L. Clifton and Sons’ ‘Kia Ora’, Coreen, for $310; 225 April/May drop August shorn ewes for G.J. and A.L. Graham, Coolamon, for $318; April/May drop ewes for G. & V. Swift, Walbundrie, for $300 and 200 May/June drop ewes for the Marylands Pastoral Co, Rand, for $290.
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