SPRING has sprung and the grass is rising but sales numbers are in reverse. The total yarding at Matawhero was 1245 and this week only 251 store lambs came forward as we come to the close of that class.
Prime ewes lost around $8/$10 per head, the closure of the Frasertown plant and pressure on northern works to kill bobby calves no doubt having some effect.
As a counter, nearly 700 very decent breeding ewes were displayed. This market remains quite steady as buyers believe they can see a return on their investment.
Most ewes were scanned singles, as back country properties, anticipating good lambing as indicated by many high scanning results, seek to make room for a bumper crop.
The store lambs were mainly in the mid- to lower weight ranges although they were quite bright and solid. Only four main pens were used and just one of those reached $100 — the rest selling between $82 and $96.
This continued with the small pens where quite small drew final bids of $70.50-$74. Good strong 5-year ewes, scanned singles, made $143 and mixed-age, also scanned singles, sold at $112-$140.
A pen of excellent ewe hoggets, scanned-in-lamb, drew attention and made $130, while a small line of ewes with very young lambs fetched $60, all-counted.
The prime ewes made $70-$82 and three pens of lambs made $105-$120. Store ewes followed the trend in the prime section and eased, the best sale being a line of 2-tooth ewes which sold at $80, while very light struggled to make $38-$51.
Mixed-sex lambs: Cricklewood Station 32 at $100, 10 at $91; Mangapoi Station 72 at $96, 12 at $83, 35 at $82; Ohuka Station 26 at $94.50; J.M. Leahy 14 at $86.50; Mahoenui Station 14 at $86.50.
Breeding ewes: Te Tiki Station 99 5-yr at $143; Waikura Station 107 MA at $140, 154 same at $130, 137 same at $112; Kairanga Station 41 Hoggets SIL at $130; Paparatu Station 100 MA, dry, at $71.
NSV, 29 ewes/30 lambs at $60 all-counted.