YOUNG Merino ewes sold to $152 and wethers to $79 in a market that defied the odds at Jerilderie today.
The offering of 12,000 sold to spirited demand at times, as buyers from as far away as Teleopea Downs, Nhill, Euroa and Barellan pushed values for many stock up.
The market was down on the impressive rates set a month ago, where young Merino ewes made up to $222.
But with a drying off of the season, and a tough lamb and mutton market, many expected that today's sale could be tough.
It was sticky in places, especially for smaller and lighter breeding ewes which sold as cheaply as $81.
But most of the better young ewes sold for more than $100, and competition for older ewes and wether lambs was markedly better than Hay a couple of weeks ago.
The sale's top price of $160 was paid for a pen of 180 Merino ewes, two years, with 210 White Suffolk lambs, sold by Currajong. The ewes, which were Centre Plus blood and July shorn, and sold to Ian Gillett from Jerilderie.
The top price for young Merino ewes was $152 paid by a Bendigo buyer for a pen of 180 Merino ewes, two yeasr, August shorn and Poll Willandra blood, sold by the Heath family.
It was the highlight in the young ewe market, with most other prices settling around $100.
What was noticeable was demand for well bred old ewes, which sold at little discount to 2011-drop ewes as buyers put value on the classed breeders.
The highlight here was the pen of Willandra ewes bred by Ross Wells, Jerilderie, which were five years and carrying a big April skin. These started at $100 before being sold to a Euroa buyer for $108.
Another good results was for the September shorn, One Oak blood five-year-old ewes sold by South Yathong. These breeders, which were in forward condtion, made $86 for the line of 455 and sold to Hassad Australia buyer Paul Besgrove. Mr Besgrove bought another pen of 2009-drop ewes, April shorn, for $110.
The wether lamb market stepped up as producers and processors went head to head in a turnaround from the last sale, where meat buyers were the major force.
The trade did get a few pens of wethers, but producers also got their fair share, and bid up to $79 for Don Bull's Woodpark-blood wethers from his Conargo property Irroy.
Other Merino wether lambs, all of which were unshorn, sold from $42-$71.