[26 September/ New Zealand Herald]

Sheep entries were 2000 lower than last week’s, primarily due to a drop in the numbers of heavy hoggets offered although ewe numbers were also reduced. This reduction in numbers increased sale prices of the heavy hoggets with yesterday’s top price being $174.50 for 131 male hoggets after a high pitch from Auctioneer Cam Waugh. Stable levels were maintained for the heavy hogget section and the medium hogget section. A high amount of those medium hoggets are not finished so carcase yields would be lower. These forward store hoggets, as well as the obvious store hoggets, were steady and there are growing indications that there will not be large numbers of early season lambs. Ewe numbers were still low; however, there is continuing strong inquiry for ewe mutton and sale prices are still firming. There was a large increase in the number of cows offered for sale, but there are still not high numbers coming forward.