Young ewes to $220
2.5yo ewes to $200
Wethers to $122
Buyers were on the hunt for ewes scanned in lamb or joined to Merino rams at the Jamestown sheep market on Thursday, with the top end lifting more than $20 a head.
Making the market highest price of $220 for 1.5-year-old ewes was AP&GA Moore, Caltowie, for their 132 July/August 2017-drop Baderloo-blood ewes that were sold to Elders Jamestown.
The second highest price of $202 for 1.5yo ewes was MA Kelly Pty Ltd, Jamestown, for their 126 June/July 2017-drop Hamilton Run blds that were sold to Landmark Kadina.
While 83 May/June 2015-drop Mernowie-bld ewes from IR&SE Becker, Kapunda, made $200 and were sold to Elders Roseworthy.
The same vendor also made $190 for 79, 4.5yo Mernowie-bld ewes that were sold to Elders Bordertown.
Alandale Props, Bute, made $170 for 189 2014-16-drop Hamilton Run/Moorundie Park-bld ewes.
While 5.5yo ewes made up to $144 with 94 Baderloo-blds from AP&GA Moore.
Elders livestock manager Jack Coleman said the continued dry conditions meant yarding numbers had eased.
"In the pastoral country in particular the luxury of holding stock over is not there - if they are shorn and ready, they just go as we have seen at past markets," he said.
"A lot of the 2013-14-drop ewes will no doubt go to the abattoir."
Mr Coleman said SA producers were looking at the latest start to a season in more than six years.
"Everyone is preparing to destock and get back to some core numbers," he said.
The best 2018-drop Merino wether lambs sold to firm competition, topping at $122 twice down to $108.
AP&GA Moore also made the wether lamb top of $122 price for their 100 July/August 2018-drop Baderloo-blds that were sold to Thomas Foods International.
EO Becker and Son, Appila, also made $122 for their 80 September/October 2018-drop woolly weathers bought by Elders Murray Bridge.
CC Cooper and Co, Jamestown, made $120 for 363 MWL and The Gunbar/Gum Hill-blds were sold to Landmark Mount Pleasant.
While MWL seconds drafts were $8 to $12 cheaper, with prices ranging from $76 to $91.
Pastoral lambs made between $32 - $52.
Merino ewe lambs sold to weaker competition, with prices falling $10 to $15.
The best 2018-drop MEL topped at $132 down to $110, while secondary types made between $70 to $100, holding firm.
JB&JM Post, Wudinna, made the MEL top price of $132 for 100 August 2018-drops that were sold to Landmark Kingston.
Landmark Jamestown's Tom Allen said sheep across all categories were heavily supplementary fed, which was a credit to the vendors.
"There were a lines of locally bred sheep that were of outstanding quality - they were highly sought after and they exceeded our price expectations," he said.
"March is always a hard month for sheep sales because even in a good season, there is limited paddock feed available at this time of the year."
The next Jamestown market will be held a week earlier on Thursday, April 11 because of the Easter break.
It will be one of the final markets for Elders Jamestown's Jack Coleman who is finishing up at the end of April after being with Elders for 10 years.
The industry leader is taking a break and heading off overseas for new experiences.
Mr Coleman will be replaced by Mildura livestock agent Sam Wakefield.