Celebrating 70 years of Merino sheep breeding history, Westvale Merinos, Wollun, held their 34th on-property sale on Wednesday, making a top price of $5000.
A group of mostly repeat buyers attended the sale, where 42 of the 58 rams offered were sold for a 72 per cent clearance rate and average of $1354.
The first ram to go under the hammer made the top price, selling to repeat buyers John and Alana Tobin, “Fairfield”, Wards Mistake for $5000.
The two-and-a-half-year-old ram, Westvale Merinos GA322, was the obvious standout of all the lots offered, and had a fibre diameter of 17 micron, standard deviation (SD) of 2.6 micron, co-efficient variation (CV) of 15.5pc, and comfort factor (CF) of 100pc.
Mr Tobin said the top ram was a big, upstanding sheep with a lot of wool, and that it would suit the type of sheep produced at “Fairfield”.
“He was a standout ram amongst the draft, and I think he was worth the $5000,” Mr Tobin said.
The second top-priced ram was purchased by David Adams, Armidale, for $3000.
The two-and-a-half-year-old ram, Westvale Merinos R268, had a fibre diameter of 15.5 micron, SD of 3 micron, CV of 19.2pc, and CF of 99.9pc.
Volume buyers on the day included the Tobin family, who purchased six rams for an average of $1833.
The Chappell family of “Bridgewater”, Dundee, and the Webber family of “Woodville”, Bendemeer, also took home six rams each, averaging $1033.
Westvale Merinos stud principle Leo Blanch said the outcome of the sale reflected the position of the super-fine wool market.
“I don’t think the market’s there yet for people to get ambitious, but eventually people will breed more super-fine Merinos,” he said.
Speaking of the top-priced ram, Mr Blanch said he wasn’t surprised to see someone willing to pay good money for it.
“I think he’s a top sheep so he wasn’t going anywhere if he didn’t bring a good price.
“I’m pleased to see him go to a good family and the Tobins have been very loyal to us.”
The sale was conducted by Landmark, Armidale, and Schute Bell, Armidale, with John Setree, Landmark, Dubbo, as auctioneer.