Analyst Intel

20 November 2020

ACROSS THE RAILS | Buyers head on-farm for lambs

By Suz Bremner

Buyers packed their gumboots and headed out onto Canterbury farms for another round of sheep sales. A high volume of prime and store lambs, as well as cast-for-age ewes made the trip to the farms worthwhile and let’s face it, who doesn’t like a jaunt into the countryside?

The week kicked off in North Canterbury with a two-vendor sale, run by Hazlett Limited, followed by the Glenmark Drive sale, a nine-vendor event stretching along the Glenmark Drive Road and finishing up with PGG Wrightson at Waipara Gorge. The week finished on Thursday with another PGG Wrightson sale in Darfield.

In total 25,000 lambs were offered and nearly 4000 ewes.

Hazlett general manager Ed Marfell says the timing of the on-farm sales was ideal, following warmer temperatures that has allowed the lambs to bloom.

“The lambs were at their peak to be sold, so the timing was ideal,” he said. “Canterbury looks good at the moment, but the nor-west can change that around quickly and vendors were relieved to get these sales under their belts.”

And vendors were also pleased with the results.

“Given the year and the way it has been, vendors were certainly satisfied with results,” he said.

“They are not the prices that they got last year, but if you had told them three years ago that they would have been making the averages we saw, then they would have been stoked.”

There was a clear preference for terminal-cross lambs across all the sales and Marfell says that was expected with it being too early for the halfbred buyers.

Across the various sales prime lambs reached $165-$176 and second cuts $125-$140, while good store lambs sold for $100-$110 and small types were down to $58.

Heavier lines were estimated to make $3.20-$3.30/kg and lighter types, $3.50-$3.60/kg. Cast-for-age ewes also posted pleasing results as a need to fill processor space drove the market.

A big day finished at MG and GA Forrester’s property, tidying up a five-hour marathon of selling and travelling on Tuesday. The same crowd that started the day were there to see it finish and PGG Wrightson auctioneer Glen Peddie reported that the last sale of the day was very successful 

“Regular buyers from Mid-Canterbury for primes and Southland for the stores provided good competition and the vendors were very pleased,” he said.

“The lambs over all the sales were better this year and there was plenty of buyer support.” 

Peddie also auctioned off Suff-Borderdale mixed-sex lambs for GD Gillanders and Sons (Mid-Canterbury) on Thursday and reported that while the prime lambs held, he felt that the store lambs strengthened. 

“The Gillanders have been farming for generations and always offer up a very consistent type of lamb, which buyers appreciate as they know what they are getting. Buyers were mainly local and had been buying here for a long time,” he said.


Awapuni Partnership, Waikari – 1725 Romney-Suftex mixed-sex, $58-$135, $94.82 average. 251 ewes, $138-$174.

Northcote Farming, Highfield – 2960 Suffolk and Suftex mixed-sex, $85-$164, $106.17 average. 149 Romney mixed-sex, $99-$108.

Glenmark Drive sales, Manahune – 2030 Suffolk-cross mixed-sex, $59-$172, $110.40 average. 443 halfbred wethers, $60-$100.

Dovedale Farm – 2103 Suftex and South Dorset Down mixed-sex, $79-$165, $199.70 average. 221 ewes, $130-$166.

Glenmark Springs Partnership, I and J Knowles – 3510 Suftex and Romtex mixed-sex, $66-$170, $104.75 average. 530 ewes, $129-$165.

Shellrock, HD and T Bethell – 1680 blackface mixed-sex, $180-$144, $92 average. 866 Romney ram lambs $75-$106, $88.80 average.

JG &LM Murchison – 730 Southdown-cross mixed-sex, $77-$139, $96.15 average.

Red Oak Stud, Weka Pass – 1305 blackface-cross mixed-sex, $78-$141, $108 average. 850 Romney ram lambs, $70-$132, $96.30 average. 306 Romney ewe lambs, $66-$120, $93.14 average. 578 ewes, $127-$153. 

Dalrachrie Downs, JR Wigley – 1930 Suftex-cross mixed-sex, $75-$170, $118.70 average.

The Three Deans, D and L McPherson – 624 blackface-cross mixed-sex, $79-$125, $97.90 average. 220 halfbred wether lambs, $80-$100. 336 ewes, $126-$157.

MG and GA Forrester – about 1700 Longdown mixed-sex, prime $126-$176, store $66-$106.

GD Gillanders and sons, Darfield – approx. 2200 Suff-Borderdale mixed-sex, $77-$164, $109.40 average. 400 AD Borderdale ewes, $124-$232.