Big drops seen in light steers and heifers on AuctionsPlus

Beef Central, 15/02/2021

This line of 40 weaned Angus steers 5-6 months in a tight weight range averaging 215kg, from Curralee Cattle Co, Wagga Wagga, NSW made 771c/kg this week returning $1605.


AVERAGE prices for light steers from less than 200kg through to 330kg all fell sharply on AuctionsPlus this week, while light heifers less than 200kg and 280-330kg followed a similar trend.

As the table below shows, steers averaging between 280kg and 330kg retracted 54c/kg on average, while heifers less than 200kg lost more than a dollar a kilo.

Listings totalled 19,435 head, back 2pc on the previous week, largely due to lower offerings through the mid-weight heifer lines.

Demand for light stock remains unflinching, with further good falls through central NSW and parts of inland Queensland continuing to see grass fever in full swing. However, the supply of suitable light stock remains exceptionally tight, as those that have them are in no rush to sell, given the ample feed and anticipated price prospects heading towards autumn.

While the very limited numbers of steers less than 200kg offered through AuctionsPlus has seen average prices fluctuate in the past two weeks, the clearance rate for the category was well above 80pc this week. In contrast, the clearance rate for the two heaviest reported steer lines, 330-400kg and 400kg+, fell significantly, back to 57pc and 58pc, respectively.

Reports suggest that some buyers are becoming increasing cautious about risk-return balance from purchasing the heavier lines, with averages this week at $1676 for 330-400kg steers, and $1884 for steers exceeding 400kg.

PTIC heifers registered the largest supply across the listed categories this week, with 4138 head offered. The clearance rate remained somewhat constrained, at 69pc, which was up from the 59pc in the previous week (4463 head).

This line of Speckle Park x Angus NSM future breeders 10-11 months averaging 337kg from Shepparton northern VIC made 611c/kg this week.

Analysis of the bid-offer spread showed that there continues to be significant distance between buyers and sellers for the unsold lots, with many of the sellers not revising their reserves lower post sale, given the flexibility the current feed supplies provide. PTIC heifers this week averaged $2238, with the top price hitting $3060.

Prices for PTIC cows with CAF registered a significant jump in prices this week, largely due to some high-quality lines offered – averaging $471/head higher, at $3213. Some excellent bloodline cows, with heavier CAF had several lots competing for the weekly high, which hit $4630.

Prices reported below are as at the close of reporting of 5pm, Sunday 14 February.

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