The recent hype surrounding strong sheep market results was marked down from rooster to feather duster status for the closing sale of the 2018 store sheep selling season at Wycheproof on Friday.
With a large portion of the local Mallee region hamstrung in its restocking by dry weather, outside buying interest also was lacklustre resulting in a substantial discounted in buying prices compared on the centre’s month-earlier bouyant rates.
The market’s opening yard, a pen of well-grown October-shorn Border Leicester Merino-cross young maiden, September-October 17-drop, saw an opening bid of just $200 offered for the 244 which saw similar lines easily sold above $300 in the month-earlier sale.
Offered by TR Barry Family Trust, Culgoa, this Gudair vaccinated line was eventually sold for $255 while a similar May-17 drop yard of ewe maidens, offered by Bushy Lodge, Narriewillock made $274 a head once the docile crowd was awaken to the line’s potential.
Other pens of 17-drop ewe maidens then proceeded to sell at rates of $205 to $215 a head while drafts of secondary types made $155 to $166.
Elders Wycheproof branch manager, Jim Coffey said the reduced interest and resultant lower prices was a reality check.
“We had our chests out after our previous result but the going was unusually tough for this sale, and aspect that wasn’t anticipated” he said.
“The quality of our had slipped compared to our October sale Mr Coffey said. “But our buying field also missed the keen interest from South Australia and the deep south from Hamilton although some sheep went south and west to Horsham”.
Drafts of 18-drop ewe lambs were similarly dismissed as almost all lots struggled to find new homes priced above the $200 a head mark.
The only pen to exceed this rate, a yard of 211 that were mulesed and Gudair vaccinated were returned home by its vendor, AD & RL Gawne, when bidding ceased at $220.
One of the few highlights of the November sale was the clearance, at $304, of a pen of commercial Merino ewes offered by Wallaroo Park Merino stud.
Carded as July-shorn, these April/May 17-drop ewes attracted wide interest as a first-time seller in the Wycheproof yards, with the successful Beaufort-district bidder undecided if the line would be placed to wool or meat rams.
Other sales of Merino ewes also found the going equally as tough. Most young ewes were sold in a price bracket of $140 to $190, with some early joined lots marked at $150 to $154 a head.
A small sample of 2016, 2015 and 2014-drop Merino ewes made $122 to $180 while a large one-mark line of 13-drop ewes, Winjalok-blood and bred, made $112.
Merino wethers were presented in good number, with most spring-shorn one year-olds sold from $108 to $140 a head while 18-drop wether lambs made $70 to $104 for shorn drafts and $46 to $73 for unshorn lots.