YOUNG heifers were cheaper in AuctionsPlus trading this week, while young steer values were mixed.
Numbers expanded again after earlier limited offerings, reaching 14,416 head – up 10pc on the previous week. The highest offering in ten weeks was met with strong competition, as producers gear-up for the remainder of the year.
Clearance reached 80pc across the sales, while prices paid by buyers averaged $265 over the reserve prices set by vendors. Confidence appears to be back, with the commercial cattle market and bull buying season rolling-on in style.
While wet and cold conditions in some regions have delayed the normal spring surge of offerings, young stock are starting to reach target weights and hit the market, with 10,646 head offered in the Weaner and Yearling sales this week.
While significantly better prices than mid-winter, the market is still finding an equilibrium, with mixed results for most categories, while clearance rates remained robust across the board.
The steer portion of the market searched for a middle ground this week, with heavy steers rising and medium steers falling. A larger offering of 340 light steers less than 200kg averaged 718c/kg, with a 97pc clearance.
While a smaller offering of 200-280kg steers lost 56c/kg on last week, to average 653c, with the 975 head reaching an 88pc clearance. From Miriam Vale, Central Queensland, a line of 104 Brahman steers 6-10 months averaging 222kg returned $1400/head, $140 over the reserve.
Listings of medium steers were steady on last week, with the 1137 head of 280-330kg steers reaching an 86pc clearance but averaging 44c/kg or $174 cheaper, at 623c.
From Merriwa, NSW, 40 Shorthorn steers 12-13 months averaging 321kg returned $2100/head, or 654c/kg.
The 2402 head of 330-400kg steers on offer sold to an 81pc clearance and averaged $2201/head – up 5c/kg. From Geranium, SA, 66 Angus steers 9-12 months averaging 378kg returned $2655/head, $310 over the reserve.
Steers 400kg+ averaged 7c/kg or $54 higher this week at 573c across the 1596 head on offer. From Uralla, NSW, 52 Red Angus cross steers 12-15 months averaging 438kg returned $2275/head, $260 over the reserve.
A larger offering of heifers with variable quality was reflected in lower prices for all categories this week. Light heifers less than 200kg averaged $1052/head across the 275 listed, clearing 92pc. A 33pc rise in the number of 200-280kg heifers, to 1343 head, saw the category fall 18c/kg to average 653c – reaching an 83pc clearance. From Coonabarabran, NSW, 75 Angus heifers 9-11 months averaging 248kg returned 766c/kg or $1900/head.
Listings of 280-330kg heifers increased 71pc on last week, to 1375 head, producing an 83pc clearance. The higher offering, along with selective buying on quality and location contributed to the average price falling 22c/kg or $136, to 616c. From Stamford, North Queensland, 188 Brahman heifers 12-15 months averaging 329kg returned $1460/head, $120 over the reserve.
Listings of 330-400kg heifers were steady on last week, with the 1152 head offered averaging $2179 – down $23 on last week and clearing 72pc.
From Warrnambool, Victoria, 63 Angus heifers 10-12 months averaging 335kg returned the top price of $2600, or 777c/kg – travelling to a buyer in Kelso, NSW.
Numbers in the 400kg+ category came back, with the 277 head averaging 40c/kg or $154 lower at $2,336.
An offering of 1321 PTIC heifers was met with robust competition and a clearance of 81pc, while average prices fell $69, losing some of last week’s gains, to average $2572. From Cecil Plains, Southern Queensland, a line of 67 Hereford PTIC heifers 24-30 months averaging 464kg returned $2465 – $190 over the reserve.
Higher listings of PTIC cows were also in demand, with prices increasing $72 to average $2,883. From Milawa, Victoria, three lines totalling 137 Angus PTIC cows six years averaging 647kg returned $3050/head, $250 over the reserve.
From Warren, NSW, 19 Shorthorn station mated cows eight years old averaged 675kg with Shorthorn CAF returned $3580.
Prices as at 2pm, Friday 9 September.