Total sheep numbers are expected to increase in New Zealand by 0.3 per cent to 27.39 million head.
GOOD demand from meat buyers, feedlotters and producers with stubbles to put lambs onto contributed to a strong first store lamb sale at Naracoorte on Thursday last week.
LONG-TIME first-cross ewe breeders Don and Jo Murdoch, Bringalbert, Vic, are hopeful prices will follow similar levels to 2018 sales.
The Naracoorte blue ribbon first-cross ewe sales later this month should again see great pay days for vendors, although agents are not expecting the magical $384 record paid in 2018 to be broken.
A MAGNIFICENT yarding of Merino ewes topped at $332 at the Keith Merino Breeders Association offshears sale on Friday, although there was a significant discount on secondary types.
A LARGE yarding of 27,000 ewes and lambs was met with strong buyer competition at Jamestown on Thursday, with young ewes selling to $272 and 5.5-year-olds topping at $211.