A top price of $158 was paid for a two-tooth ewe on the first day of the Hawarden ewe fair on Wednesday.
In line with recent North Island sales, prices were down on what might have been hoped earlier in the season, said Peter Walsh and Associates auctioneer Jim Greenslade.
"I think it was up to expectations on where we thought the market would be and we knew the market was going to be a bit lower than what we thought three months ago.
"The North Island started off poorly so that's flowed on down through to us."
Greenslade said prices were similar or in some cases slightly lower than last year, with lighter two-tooths going for between $100 and $120, good medium fetching between $120 and $135 and good two tooths up to $150.
As sheep numbers have fallen and other sale yards closed, Hawarden has become the major North Canterbury ewe fair and this year an influx of ewes has seen the fair split into two days.
This year's fair has been boosted by capital stock from several sheep farms changing to a different land use. Most of the sheep on offer came from Hurunui with some also being sent from Blenheim and Rangiora area.
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