YOUNG ewes sold to $354 at the annual Hay Merino Breeders Sheep Sale today, with strong competition coming from the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area in New South Wales.
In his early report before the older ewes were sold, Sheep Central market analyst Murray Arnel said the young ewe sale was very consistent with many drafts having long bidding runs.
“They had low starts but finished up getting the money.”
In the first dozen 2019 drop pens sold, only one line made less than $300 (at $298), he said.
“The vast majority made between $320 and $345, with a top price of $354.”
The $354 May-June 2019 drop ewe hoggets were July shorn and offered by S.P and P.M McGufficke, Bunumburt, at Oxley, New South Wales. The Alma and Bluebush blood ewes came from a 21 micron flock and had an average liveweight of 64.7kgs. The line’s buyer Wes Kember from Ganmain, north of Wagga Wagga, and Mr Arnel said both the seller and the buyer had a focus on frame and fertility in their sheep.
Mr Kember is a Border Leicester breeder and sold ewes at Narrendera recently for $381 and his third draft of sucker lambs sold at Wagga for $191.60.
“It’s a good time to be in sheep,” Mr Arnel said.
Mr Arnel said the main buying strength on the top lines of sheep came from producers in the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area districts, including Leeton, Griffith and Narrendera.
“But the sheep have been spread throughout the Riverina, down to Corowa and to Wagga, with some northern Victorian demand from Swan Hill and Echuca.”
Mr Arnel said the sale was interfaced with AuctionsPlus and there was a bit of bidding and sales secured on the electronic platform.
Agents Elders and Nutrien offered 22,500 ewes and 7500 lambs in the sale, including 13,000 2019 drop ewes, 3000 2018 drop ewes, 1000 2017 drop ewes and about 5000 4-6 year-old ewes.
See more videos and sale wrap-up with interviews on the Sheep Central Facebook page tonight. Mr Arnel will post a more comprehensive report on the sale on the Sheep Central website on Monday.