THERE is no doubt the wonderful seasonal conditions are behind the strong and sustained interest from restockers at recent featured store sheep sales.
The absence of processors was evident at both Hillston, where lines of Merino ewes and wether lambs were offered, and at West Wyalong where the annual spring Temora/West Wyalong first-cross ewe sale was held.
Peter Fisk, Nutrien Ag Solutions said the quality was exceptional at Hillston sheep sale last week, but numbers were restricted due to poor lambing through 2019.
"Also with the better season and great prices people are selling only enough to cover themselves and keeping more sheep at home," Mr Fisk said.
Elders Narrandera agent Dom O'Mahoney commented at the Hillston sale that one of his clients, a committed breeder of first-cross ewes, once went a year without purchasing Merino ewes and in spite of current high prices that client was determined it will not again happen.
Quade Moncreiff Livestock and Property director Paul Quade said he had a lot of inquiry from restockers at Forbes, Parkes and Yass before the West Wyalong sale last Friday.
"It is the lack of numbers which is keeping the market buoyant," Mr Quade said.
"Obviously producers are getting good returns for their lambs and old ewes, but if they want to stay in the game they realise they need to buy replacement breeders."
Mr Quade said many breeders were also selling a smaller draft than usual and retaining ewes to build flock numbers.
"In many cases, the return from those smaller lines of ewes has been equal to the returns in previous years when they sold more sheep," he said.
Will Dean, Nutrien Ag Solutions, West Wyalong, pointed out numbers yarded were restricted due the tougher seasonal conditions last year.
"Also, some people had sold their sheep a couple of months earlier when they thought prices were too good to ignore," Mr Dean said.
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