Buyer hesitancy was one of the features of the online commercial cattle sales this week, as clearance rates were again patchy at the immediate close of the auction and not reflective of the pre-auction catalogue views and inquiries.
It was another steady week of offerings through AuctionsPlus commercial cattle sales, with the 19,076 head offered last week largely in line with the average since the start of May.
Seven of the ten young steer and heifer categories lost ground this week on a c/kg basis. The heavy end of the young heifer market recorded significant gains this week, while the PTIC heifer supply and clearance rates contracted.
Adding to the market noise this week was the looming end to the 2021-22 financial year – with producers always attuned to taxation and income consideration in late June. For the southern markets, wet, cold, and gloomy continued to hinder producers, with some concerns being heard regarding pasture supplies into late winter, following a frustrating finish to autumn.
For the young steer categories, the lighter end performed better than the heavier end, price wise, as demand through the heavier lines declined.
Interest for 200-280kg steers was again robust, with the highest clearance rate among the steer categories for the week, at 62pc for the 2718 head offered. Prices averaged 13c/kg lower at 695c/kg.
From Walcha, NSW, a line of 34 Angus steers 9-10 months averaging 233kg returned 770.88c/kg or $1800/head. From the north, a line of 107 Droughtmaster cross steers out of Adavale, Western Queensland, 5-11 months averaging 262kg returned $1750 – reaching $180 over reserve.
Steers 330-400kg steers dropped 77c/kg or $180 on last week, to average 550c with a 52pc clearance for the 2206 head offered. The lighter category of 280-330kg steers averaged 8c/kg lower at 665c. From Deepwater, NSW, 37 Hereford steers 9-10-months averaging 322kg returned $1740/head – headed to buyer in Burra, SA.
Heavy feeder steers +400kg continued to be in tight supply, with the 387 offered averaging 529c, down 80c/kg on last week. From Dubbo, NSW, 10 Santa steers 18-19-months averaging 405kg returned $2080 – destined for Colbinabbin, Victoria.
In contrast to the young steer categories, some categories towards the heavier end of the young heifer market kicked higher this week.
With 1578 head offered, 200-280kg heifers slipped 46c/kg or $71 on last week, to average 614c. From Corryong, Victoria, a line of 88 Angus heifers 8-10 months averaging 225kg returned $1730/head to a buyer from Tooma, NSW – $330 over reserve.
Heifers 280-330kg averaged 53c higher this week, at 672c, with a 51pc clearance for the 1261 head offered.
From Miles, Queensland, 46 Simmental cross heifers 12-18-months averaging 298kg returned $1500/head. For the heavier lines, 330-400kg lots averaged 103c/kg higher, with the weekly average boosted by some excellent quality offerings. A run of 185 EU accredited Angus heifers from Tenterfield, NSW, were offered in six lots. Ranging from 8-12-months and averaging from 321-333kg, they returned an average $3487/head.
PTIC cow offerings again exceeded the PTIC heifer numbers this week, with the 2643 head offered producing a 49pc clearance at the conclusion of the sale. PTIC cows averaged $2636/head this week, back $10 on the previous week.
From Chinchilla, Queensland, an offering of 214 Santa PTIC cows, drafted into mobs 2-7 years or 8-10 years, averaging from 551kg to 686kg – EU accredited and joined to Wagyu bulls – made from $2780 to $3160.
The most cautious buying for the week belonged to the PTIC heifer category, with a subdued 27pc clearance for the 2202 head offered. With the average up 2c/kg for the week, at 613c/kg or $2713 a head, some buyers were prepared to meet vendors expectations, while attention and sales could have also been dragged away to the heavier non-joined heifer lines, given the recent price differential.
From Oberon, NSW, 20 Angus PTIC heifers 20-22 months averaging 440kg and joined to Angus bulls, returned $2800.
From Albury, NSW, 11 Murray Grey heifers with calves at foot sired by Angus bulls returned $3360/head. The heifers aged 24-25-months-old and averaged 435kg. They will travel to a buyer in Thornton, Victoria.
Prices as at 2pm, Friday 24 June.