MAIDEN Merino ewe values reached $220 at the Westcoast Wool & Livestock 'Back To The Wheatbelt' sheep sale at Kondinin recently.
In its third annual sale at the venue, the company penned a quality yarding of annual drafts from local and surrounding areas totalling 5300 sheep, ranging from 1.5-year-old to 5.5yo ewes with varying shearings and unshorn and spring shorn wether lambs.
With a swag of ewes and wether lambs already offloaded earlier in the year due to the dry conditions, numbers were well down on previous sales and the Corrigin leg of the traditional circuit sale was not required this year.
Interfaced on AuctionsPlus, the sale also attracted a big crowd to the Kondinin saleyards, but it was Eastern States buyers who dominated the clerking sheets, operating through agents at the sale and online.
In the winter shorn line-up, young ewes topped the sale at $220, 2.5yo ewes sold to $210 and proven 4.5 ewes reached $184.
Autumn shorn 1.5yo ewes sold to $204 and 2.5-3.5yo Dohne ewes sold for $192, while young spring shorn ewes made $191 and summer shorn young ewes $147.
Wether lamb values topped at $110 for unshorn drafts and $105 for a spring shorn line.
In his sale opening address Westcoast Wool & Livestock auctioneer Chris Hartley congratulated the vendors on the presentation of the yarding.
"It hasn't been an easy year for sheep producers, but the vendors have done well under the circumstances to present a top yarding of big framed, heavy wool cutting ewes," Mr Hartley said.
Topping this year's sale from the outset was 329 July shorn Ronern blood 1.5yo ewes offered by R Dunwell & Son, Yealering.
The big-framed ewes attracted plenty of interest before being knocked down for $220 to Barry Gangell, Westcoast Wool & Livestock, Kulin, bidding via phone for a buyer from Deniliquin, New South Wales.
Mr Gangell secured a further four lines of ewes at the sale for this buyer who was sourcing replacement ewes for their prime lamb enterprise.
Mr Gangell continued to operate at the top of the market for the Eastern States' account, paying the sale's $210 second top price for 181 August shorn Stanley Hill blood 2.5yo ewes offered by Calcorp Holdings, Corrigin.
Other sales included 187 August shorn Woolkabin blood 1.5yo ewes from PJ Kenny & Co, Karlgarin, for $207, 104 August shorn Ronern blood 1.5yo ewes offered by Gnarming Farms, Kulin, for $206 and the Dunwell's older ewe draft of 442 July shorn Ronern blood 4.5yo ewes for $184.
Jay MacDonald, AWN Livestock, was the sale's other volume buyer collecting six lines of ewes at the sale via phone for a South Australian buyer.
Mr MacDonald's $206 top price was paid for 195 March shorn Leovale blood 1.5yo ewes that were trucked in by Balcoombs, Hyden.
Also crossing the Nullarbor for this account was a big line of 420 March shorn Far Valley blood 2.5yo to 3.5yo Dohne ewes from W & DG Aggiss, Karlgarin, that were knocked down for $192 and 182 September shorn Kolindale and Strath-Haddon blood 1.5yo ewes from the paddocks of GS & KR Bowron, Pingaring, costing $191.
Mr MacDonald said the ewes were heading to the mid-north of South Australia as replacements to be joined to terminal sires for prime lamb production.
Jane Bushby, Westcoast Wool & Livestock, Kulin, was kept busy through the sale managing the AuctionsPlus activity.
The online platform received 1857 catalogue views and 45 registered bidders logged in from NSW, Victoria, SA and WA, resulting in seven active online bidders placing 40 online bids across nine lots at the sale.
A large draft of 726 unshorn Lewisdale-Corrigin blood wether lambs from AT Lane & Son, Hyden, was knocked down for $110 to AuctionsPlus for a Wagga Wagga, NSW, buyer while an online WA buyer picked up 109 younger February shorn Ongerup blood 1.5yo ewes from G Cook & Sons, Kulin.
Mark Fairclough, Westcoast Wool & Livestock, York, was another active buyer at the sale, finishing with three lines of sheep to his account.
Mr Fairclough paid a $162 top price for 120 spring shorn Rutherglen blood 1.5yo ewes offered by WC & AL Bradford, Kulin and collected a line of 361 unshorn Karingal blood wether lambs from Careema Farms, Kondinin, for $102.
JW Taylor, Mt Barker, snapped up the other large draft of 575 September shorn wether lambs from AW & AP Latham, Narembeen, for $102.