Cattle numbers offered through AuctionsPlus commercial cattle sales jumped 10pc this week, hitting 13,574 head, as clearance rates eased from recent levels.
While the value of sales over reserve remained historically high for the week, averaging $195/head, the range from low to high prices for most categories widened, as eager buyers competed for quality and bloodlines.
The main feature in the market again this week was widespread rain through parts of the eastern states. With flooding now an ever-present risk, it is very likely that producers will “pounce” on opportunities to get market ready stock into transport ready locations – aware that any drier windows for transport may be short lived.
This has the real potential to add some volatility to the supply of cattle through to the end of the year – which will no-doubt also influence prices.
For the online markets this week, the strength of previous weeks was largely maintained, as quality light steers remain scarce. While 200-280kg steers slipped 65c/kg or $179/head on last week (due to quality), to average 679c/kg or $1702/head, 280-330kg steers kicked 55c higher, averaging 697c. Both categories sold to an above average clearance, at 93pc and 90pc, respectively.
From Stonehenge, Queensland, a line of 186 Santa and Santa cross weaned steers 5–10 months averaging 249kg returned $1890/head. From Macarthur, Victoria, 60 Wagyu x Angus weaned steers 12-13 months averaging 304kg returned $3830.
A good offering of heavier steers 330-400kg was matched by robust competition, with the 1265 head offering selling to a 90pc clearance – averaging $163 higher on last week, at $2328. From Delungra, NSW, 27 Angus backgrounder steers 12-16 months averaging 398kg returned $2340.
The 1335 feeder steers +400kg sold to steady competition, with a 63pc clearance at the completion of the sale. Comparatively steady compared to the lighter lines, 400kg+ steers slipped $8 on last week, to average $2473/head – equating to 569c/kg lwt. From Young, NSW, a line of 47 Shorthorn feeder steers aged 12-14-months-old and averaging 419kg lwt, returned $2,360/head
From Wantabadgery, NSW, a line of 34 NSM Poll Hereford future breeders aged 12-13 months averaging 298kg returned $1,860/head.
Heifers 330-400kg and 400kg+ both averaged higher for the week, jumping 7c/kg and 6c/kg respectively. While the 400kg+ lines were scarce with only 343 head offered, they sold to a 94pc clearance – averaging 552c. 330-400kg heifers averaged 617c, with a 78pc clearance masking the spirited competition across several lines.
From Guyra, NSW, 54 NSM Angus future breeders 18-24 months averaging 386kg returned $2430.
It was a much more selective market through the proven breeding lines, with some large price movements in key categories reflecting the search for quality. The PTIC heifer market averaged lower this week, down $492/head on last week, to average $2210 – with a 47pc clearance for the 2178 head offered.
From Wandoan, Queensland, a line of 160 PTIC heifers 16-24 months, drafted into different breed groupings and weights, sold from 619c/kg for a run of 27 Angus cross types 390kg, to 617c/kg for a run of 52 Droughtmaster cross averaging 377kg; 600c/kg for a run of 54 Charolais, Charbray and Droughtmaster crosses averaging 337kg; and 537c/kg for 26 Charolais and Charbray crosses. All were PTIC to Ultrablack, Droughtmaster and Shorthorn bulls.
PTIC cows averaged $329 higher this week, at $2964/head, with the 602 head offered clearing a comparatively high 73pc. From Upper Horton, NSW, 34 Angus cows 3-9-years averaging 666kg, PTIC to Angus bulls, sold for $3220, while 41 NSM Angus cows 7-10 years 608kg, with 42 CAF sired by Angus bulls returned $4210.
Prices as at 2pm, Friday 23 September