Mianellup wethers top June sale

Sally Hincks and Bob GarnantCountryman

Grazier bids were solid but prices at Katanning last Friday were well down on last year's record-breaking June sale, reflecting, in part, lighter competition from exporters facing compliance issues under new export regulations.

Almost 11,000 sheep went under the hammer at the Primaries-Westcoast Livestock June Special, in which a line of two-year-old wethers sold to the top price of $128 compared with $168.50 paid last year.

The average across the yards was down $28 a head, to $97/head, compared with $125/head last year.

But as Westcoast auctioneer Chris Hartley said, considering that export shipping and wool prices had eased, the sale had met expectations.

"Wethers suitable for export sold to realistic expectations - and it was a very good yarding," he said.

Primaries auctioneer Jeff Lynn agreed, saying it was a quality yarding and that on the live export side, the result only just met expectations.

"And store woolly sheep made what vendors were expecting," he said. "Heavier live export sheep sold to quite good competition, compared with previous sales."

Both companies said there had been a few withdrawals, probably because graziers had retained stock after the recent rains.

Primaries was first to sell and top price in its offering came in a small line from WW & DR Leibeck, of Esperance, whose 11 August-shorn Rambouillet-blood wethers fetched $121/head.

They were bought by Ross Sutherland, trading as Joe & Co, who also bought 111 wethers at $105/head that were consigned by RA & WE Powell.

The Leibecks also sold 462 Rambouillet-blood wethers at $110.50/head to Wellard Rural Exports.

The third best price in the Primaries wether offering was $108/head, paid by Wellard for 130 Dohne wethers from CG & ME Williams.

A big line of 635 wethers consigned by Penrose Pastoral fetched $105.50/head. They were bought by Landmark York's Jim Millar on behalf of PG & AM Boyle.

Two lines of Merino ewes were sold in the Primaries offering, with 156 May-shorn AMS hoggets fetching $97.50/head and bought by Jim Millar on behalf of Hillgate Nominees.

This was the June Special Sale's top price for ewes.

Another 154 May-shorn Ronville-blood ewes fetched $71/head and were bought by JM Hebb & Co, of Collie.

The biggest line of 753 wethers from Commodine Farms fetched $97/head and was bought by Karradale Trading.

The top price in the Westcoast offering was $128/head - and it was the sale topper at the Primaries-Westcoast Livestock June Special.

The $128 was paid for 176 Mianellup-blood September-shorn two-year-old Merino wethers from the Mianellup Grazing Co. The buyer, Wellard, also bought the second top-priced line at $119.50/head.

The 585 October-shorn Yarrum Valley-blood one-year-old wethers were consigned by Ongerup's K & S Vaux & Co in their first time of offering at the Katanning sale. The buyer was Westcoast Livestock York's Gary Lawrance, operating on behalf of an undisclosed grazier.

The third-best price for wethers was $106.50/head, paid for 141 November-shorn Kylie blood one-year-old wethers.

The wethers were consigned by BA Murray and bought by Landmark Katanning.

Westcoast Livestock hosted a good ewe offering, in which the top price of $92/head was paid for 250 one-year-old Dohne-crosses.

They were consigned by K & CE Just and bought by Gnowangerup's BL & GL Hemley.

The Justs also sold 113 two-year-old January-shorn Danjong blood Merino ewes at $83.50/head to JM Hebb & Co, of Collie.

Wenbella sold 142 one-year-old AMS blood ewes for $81/head, bought by Landmark Katanning.

Wellard bought 2596 wethers and Emanuel Exports 892 wethers, each from both agents.

At the sale was Wellard Middle East livestock general manager Garry Robinson, who said market demand had been affected by government restrictions.

Mr Robinson was referring to the Exporter Supply Chain Assurance System, which was introduced in July 2011 by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry to address animal welfare concerns.

"Sheep orders have been lower than expected, even during the Ramadan period," he said.

"The live export shippers were less active at Katanning due to market shrinkage."

He said the industry was working hard to maintain market share and today's market had become more difficult and highly competitive.

Katanning June Special Sheep Sale * <table border="1"> <tbody> <tr> <td align="left">AGENT </td> <td>OFFERED </td> <td>SOLD </td> <td>TOP PRICE </td> <td>AVERAGE </td> </tr> <tr> <td>Primaries </td> <td>6021 </td> <td>6021 </td> <td>$121 </td> <td>$93 </td> </tr> <tr> <td>Westcoast Livestock </td> <td>4974 </td> <td>4974 </td> <td>$128 </td> <td>$103 </td> </tr> </tbody> </table>

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