MERINO ram sale averages are predicted to rise by $50 to $80 during the 2013 South Australian Merino ram selling season which kicks off this week.
Good rainfall, a boost in grain production and a rise in recent lamb prices will contribute to better returns.
Elders SA marketing manager Tom Penna says prices should be on par or stronger.
He said that, unlike record highs achieved in 2011 when lamb and wool were setting state and national benchmarks prices for this year's 10-week ram sale selling spree were expected to be solid on 2012.
More than 70 on-property sales will be held from July 24 until the first week in October.
"I expect prices to be par for the course," Mr Penna said.
"Certainly no less, and possibly stronger."
He said the good season had meant producers were set to reap the benefits.
"A lowering Australian dollar, which I hope will boost wool prices, will help to keep sales on par," Mr Penna said.
"I expect offshears sales to also be much stronger this year, about the $200-mark for good ewes, which will also help influence ram sale prices."
He expected "mid-point" rams to average $1500.
"People will be looking for heavier cutters," Mr Penna said.
"As breeders have freed sheep up and pushed out staple length, they'll now be looking for a bit more fibre density.
"They'll go for the one that will cut that bit more wool.
"Carcase shape and meat traits will also really come into it."
Mr Penna said the Adelaide Merino Ram Sale, held during the Royal Adelaide Show, would continue its popularity.
In 2012, the sale set the national benchmark for multi-vendor sales with a $6549 average, eclipsing similar sales held at Dubbo, New South Wales, Hamilton and Bendigo in Victoria, and Katanning, in Western Australia, for the third successive year.
Of the 122 rams offered by 28 vendors from SA, Vic and NSW, 112 sold to most states in Australia, and overseas to Argentina.
Brothers Peter and Alex Stockman, Springvale North Stud, Burra, took out the $26,000 top price.
"I expect to see stronger bidding in the $8000 to $15,000 stud ram bracket as higher artificial insemination costs encourage more people to consider purchasing a ram instead," Mr Penna said.
"The quality of rams in Adelaide this year is very strong and numbers will probably be similar to previous years."
Landmark studstock's Gordon Wood said prices and clearance would be similar to 2012.
"Year-on-year averages may be down a little," he said.
"In 2011, we had an extraordinary year which lifted averages by 30 per cent.
"Last year, there was a correction and I expect we should maintain these rates this year."
Mr Wood said that, with many producers running mixed cropping and sheep enterprises, there was often a correlation between grain yield and ram prices.
"With good opening rains across much of SA, there should be confidence in the industry and this will be reflected in averages," he said.
*Full report in Stock Journal, July 25 issue, 2013.