PRICES exceeded the expectations of both buyers and vendors at the feature first-cross ewe sale at Bendigo today.The tops of the 2011 ewes sold to $182 while the first-cross Border Leicester-Merino ewe lambs sold to $170.
With prime lamb prices 25-30 per cent below this time last year and mutton prices at half the rate there was a lot of apprehension.
Jeff Wall of Caniambo was hoping for about $170 for his August-September 2011-drop, September-shorn ewes, but was pleasantly surprised with $182 for the first pen of the sale.
The Berryman family of Moama who have made a habit of topping this Bendigo sale with their ewe lambs pens were likewise happy with a top price of $170 or $10 above their expectations.
Last year the one-and-a-half-year-old ewes topped at $254, while the Berryman ewe lambs topped at $234.
The Bendigo sale conducted jointly by Elders and Landmark yarded more than 20,000, of which more than half were ewe lambs.
Most of the better quality 2011 ewes sold from $135-$160, while the joinable ewe lambs sold upwards of $110.
The sale was well attended by Victorian buyers from South Gippsland, Western District, Goulburn Valley, and north central.
Warren Clark of Lanyons Hamilton helped buy 422 ewes for the Menzel brothers from Hamilton paying from $140-$160.
"That was about $10 more than what we were planning on, it is definitely a dear market given the current lamb and mutton markets," Mr Clark said.