UPDATE: YOUNG first cross ewe lambs sold to $150 at Corowa as warm weather sapped the heat from the market.
Continued dry weather meant local competition was subdued for the offering of 9000 predominately crossbred sheep.
- Pictures: Corowa sheep sale
But any ewes which were smaller, lighter or could not be joined soon, were discounted and some were passed in.
The yarding was dominated by 2012-drop ewes, and while the best of the joinable lines made more than $100 and up to $150, lighter and younger ewes generally made $60-$90, and the smallest store condition ewe lambs sold as cheaply as $41.
Elders Corowa auctioneer Steve Grantham said there was a $50 gap between joinable ewes and those which needed time to grow out.
"There was a chance to put a few away and bring them back in the spring," he said.
The sale's top price was paid by a Leongatha buyer for a pen of April/May 2012-drop ewes, which were December shorn and well grow, sold by MJ Kingston for $150.
A few other2012-drop first cross ewes topped $120, with the cream of the offering going to Beaufort district buyers Robert Ditomaso and Billy Frank who paid to $146.
Buyers agreed that they were getting good value.
"I feel for the vendors," Ross Considine from Leongatha said.
"I got $70 less for my lambs so am paying $70 less for my replacement ewes, but where do they pass it on?"
The sale's best ewe lamb price was equalled by the tops of the 1-1/2-year-old first cross ewes, sold by John and Colleen Batten for Oaklands. They received this for their run of 194 ewes, August/September 2011-drop and 100 per cent scanned in lamb to terminal sires.
But to put this into context, the Battens paid $145 a year ago for the young first cross ewe lambs they grew out and joined.
"We kept them for 12 months and didn't even cover expenses," he said.
There was strong competition for the best of the joined Merino ewes, headlined by the Drum's offering of scanned in lamb Merinos, Borambil blood, bareshorn and joined in October for a seven week joining.
The Drums 2011-drop breeders made $134, the 2010-drop $120 while the 7-1/2 and 8-1/2-year-olds made $51.
The limited offering of unjoined Merino ewes topped at $120 paid for a well grown line of ewes sold by RK Jones. The ewes were April/May 2011-drop, September shorn and Pastora blood.
The best wether price was $66, paid for a well grown pen of 414 Merinos, June/July 2012 drop and unshorn sold by Ross Severin at Brocklesby. Two years ago, similar age wethers from the same vendor made $120 and they still made $110 last year.
"On the day, we are happy but it is still a fair check in prices," he said.