FIRST-cross ewe lambs sold to $182 at Naracoorte today, more than $100 below the top price of the last year's sale.
Prices ebbed and flowed in the yarding of about 34,000 ewe lambs, but the best grown lines joinable this year generally made from $120 to $180.
Ewes suitable to join by February-March next year made from $95 to $120 a head and the thirds for running on sold from $66 to $95, though some buyers paid up to $104 for selected lots.
A Landmark Mt Gambier client paid the top price for the second run of 156 Marmon Hills April-May 2012 drop ewes, October shorn and Ovine Johne's Disease vaccinated.
Marmon Hills principal Ian Farley from Jabuk South Australia said he was happy with the price though he had though his best ewes would reach $200.
The first line of 173 Marmon Hills ewes sold for $174 to Landmark Tonkin-George Mt Gambier.
The 1760 Marmon Hill ewes bred out of homebred and bought-in large framed Merino ewes joined to Inverbrackie SuperBorder rams averaged $153.60.
Last year Mr Farley averaged $245 for his ewes and they sold for up to $278. The top price for first cross ewe lambs at Naracoorte last year was $288.
The Pocock Bros operation at Lameroo sold 2700 lambs for up to $176 for a line of 179 April-May drop ewes out of lines blood ewes by Johno's SuperBorder rams.
These were bought by Stawell lamb producer Craig Stewart who paid $300 for Pocock ewes two years ago.
Naracoorte Combined Agents chairman Tom Dennis said prices dipped noticeably in the middle of the sale, but recovered at the end.
Rates were as expected, though some vendors might be "underwhelmed", he said.