NEW heights were reached at the annual Telang Pastoral on-property lamb sale on Friday last week, with ewe lambs topping at a record $290.
Competition was strong for the selection of Merino-Border Leicester-East Friesian ewe and wether lambs at the Wangolina property, with 3873 May/June-drop ewe lambs averaging $250 and 3834 wether lambs averaging $163.
The top price of $290 was paid by Telang sale regular Roger Dickenson, Naracoorte, for 100 ewe lambs weighing 50 kilograms.
The remaining 627 top weight ewe lambs were sold for $274, while $276 was paid for 300 of the 45kg ewe lambs.
Australian Lamb Company secured the entire 1054 run of 56kg wether lambs for $180, while Fletchers International bought all wether lambs - 2586 in total - in the 43kg to 50kg weight ranges.
The overall sale averages were both improvements on last year, with Pinkerton Palm Hamlyn & Steen's Scott Bittner saying the result was partially driven by higher overall weights, as well as industry confidence.
"The lambs have presented well above where we expected and that was reflected in the prices," he said.
"The meat industry's in a great place at the moment and confidence within the industry is high.
"People are starting to realise that people can breed more lambs from these type of sheep in the right environment."
Telang's Rob Starling thought the tops of the ewe lambs could have sold for marginally higher, but strong buying competition throughout ensured the sale's overall averages were higher than expected.
"Confidence here is starting with the meat prices we're seeing and the prices people are receiving for their prime lambs," he said.
"They need the ewes as breeders and they are performing well.
"We've bought 3800 Merino ewes this year - we normally buy 1800 - so we're hoping to have a couple of thousand more sheep in the sale next year with the view that prices aren't going to be any cheaper next year.
"Widespread rain through the rest of the country will hopefully continue and improve and global demand for protein will hopefully keep prices nice and high."