Ballarat gives back a little for Christmas

Murray Arnel, 20/12/2021


Yarded: 3870

EYCI: 1169c/kg

Feeder (EYCI) rating: -47pt

Steers: 500-650kg: $2610-$3070, av 508c/kg: 360-500kg $2200-$2830 av 584c/kg; 280-360kg $1980-$22350, av 690c/kg

Heifers: 360-500kg: $2000-$2350, av 538c/kg; 280-360kg $1900-$2310, av 629c/kg; 200-280kg: $1720-$1900, av 703c/kg


Brad Mason, sons Harry and Archer, sold 100 mixed sex Angus weaners from their Mt Beckworth property, Stonehill.


DEMAND was selective and softened slightly at the final store cattle market for 2021 at Ballarat on Friday when a full penning of 3870 head met a reduced buying group that lacked depth and intensity.

With this in play the market for heavy grown steers opened as much as $100 a head lower than the centre’s November rates, before gathering pace on the more suitable feeder and younger lines.

From there demand became inconsistent with some selected lots trading at fully firm rates, with others considerably off-the-pace. Overall the steer market averaged $60-80/head less.

The heifer market on the other hand saw grown heifers sell $50-$80 a head cheaper, while lighter and younger weaners met stronger enquiry to fully maintain previous Ballarat rates.

Elders auctioneer, Graeme Nicholson, said that apart from the softer start to the heavy grown steer and heifer markets, there wasn’t much change otherwise.

He said selected large lines of well-bred feeders and weaners were priced firm and possibly higher in places, but demand was also inconsistent, to lack previous depth.

“From the last Ballarat sale, we definitely missed specialist bullock finisher competition from Gippsland, one of our regular feeder buyers was absent and several volume NSW orders didn’t return,” Mr Nicholson said.

Xavier Shanahan, Nutrien, agreed that some heavy steer lots early in the sale didn’t make the same money as last month, and the general standard of the feeder and weaners was also not a match.

“But let’s not be too disappointed,” Mr Shanahan said.

“It was still an excellent result. How could you not be happy as these prices?”

Watch live vision of the opening weaner sales:

In a post-sale interview with Beef Central, HF Richardson auctioneer James Haddrick agreed there were buying opportunities early on and later through the sale.

“Some of it (the market) saw no change and in other parts it was softer, without the punch of last sale.”

Watch Beef Central’s the full interview with James Haddrick:

Opening the sale, vendor Hawkstone sold a yard of 23 Angus steers, 554kg at $2730 (492c/kg) while 24 Telegraph Road Angus, 540kg made $2740 (490c/kg).

Providing a direct comparison to the previous sale FA & GJ Richardson, Newlyn sold 38 Angus, 560kg, at $2840 (507kg) while same vendor in the November sale sold a draft of 543kg steers from the same mob at $2950 or 543c/kg.

A second yard of 22 Telegraph Road Angus, 504kg, made $2700 (535c/kg), while A&S Taylor, sold 25 Bundalong Angus steers, 496kg at $2830 (571c/kg).

These sales were followed by 24 Barwon Downs Angus, 475kg, sold at $2800 (589c/kg) while M&H Stoney sold 15 Jarrah Angus, 475kg at $2810 (591c/kg).

A second pen of 18 Barwon Downs Angus, 424kg, made $2530 (596c/kg) while 41 Freebairn Angus, 385kg, were sold at $2420 (630c/kg).

Drafts of Hereford and other coloured cattle were more populated than usual in the December.

Vin Richards, Blampied, sold his family’s annual draft of Angus weaners with Nutrien young gun Ned Balharrie, who is the generation of the Balharrie agent family to hold the Richard account.

Hawkstone P/L sold two yards of Omeo-bred Hereford steers that fetched similar money to similar weighted all-black lines.

The first yard of 23 Hawkstone 18–24-month-olds Herefords, 538kg, made $2710 (504c/kg) while a second pen of 17, 518kg made $2670 (515c/kg).

Vendor Yanika also sold two yards of Hereford steers, with a pen of 22, 472 sold at $2680 (567c/kg) while a yard of 16, 428kg made $2470 (577c/kg).

Mrs PM Laidlaw also sold two yards of Hereford steers – 22 weighed at 449kg made $2400 (534c/kg) while a pen of 24, 412kg made $2410 (584c/kg).

Vendor Rosevale Ridge, sold an outstanding draft of Charolais yearling-off steers, aged 12-14-months, with its first pen of 20, 489kg sold $2600 (531c/kg) while a second pen of 20, 464kg, made $2470.

The selling of weaners was led by Brad Mason and family, trading as Stonehill Partners, Mt Beckworth.

The Stonehill line of 100 Langi Kal Kal-blood Angus mixed sexes saw their first steer yard of 40, 422kg sold at $2510 (594c/kg), while a second pen of 25, 380kg, realized $2490 (655c/kg).

The heifer portion of the Stonehill weaners made $2230 (408kg- 546c/kg) and $2120 (362kg- 585c/kg).

VG & SM Richards and family, Blampied, was another to sell their annual draft of mixed sex Angus. Gaining support from several repeat buyers, these made to $2500 for a pen of 70, 326kg (776c/kg) and $2460 for a pen of 21, 365kg (673c/kg).

Seriston Pastoral, Avenue Range, SA, sold dual consignments of Angus and Charolais-sired weaners bred from Shorthorn cows.

The Angus sired line saw a yard of 23, 382kg sold at $2380 (623c/kg while a second pen of 20, 326kg made $2300 (706c/kg).

The Seriston Charolais steers also drew repeat buyer support with pens sold at $2500 (454kg- 550c/kg), $2300 (387kg – 594c/kg) and $2230 (344kg- 648c/kg).

Main heifer sales from the Richards family line of Angus made to $2190 (335kg- 653c/kg) and $2210 (301kg- 734c/kg) while Seriston Angus-Shorthorn heifers made to $2000 (371kg – 539c/kg).

Interest in the Seriston Charolais-Shorthorn heifers was again high topping at $2290 (376kg- 609c/kg while a second yard, 348kg made $2150 (617c/kg).

The selling of store cattle at CVLX Ballarat will resume in February with a sale each and every Friday during the month.


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