WIDESPREAD rain across the eastern seaboard has failed to dampen the online cattle market this week. Despite a 16 percent drop in listings, most likely hindered by wet paddocks, a total of 16,720 head were listed online this week.
Demand across most categories remained strong, particularly across feeder weight steers and heifers. Notable demand for Queensland cattle lines was prominent this week, with almost all categories returning 100pc clearance, indicative of realistic reserves underpinned by restocker, feedlot and processor buyers keeping their finger on the pulse of the market to secure lines at the ‘right’ price.
Another week of mixed results across the heifer categories was seen online this week, yet this time with lighter heifer categories returning higher averages. Heavier heifer lines however retracted following last week’s gains, yet clearance across most categories was higher due to overall reduced numbers.
Heifers 200-280kg averaged 701c/kg this week – up 69c from last week. Out of Torrens Creek in North QLD, a line of 120 Angus cross heifers returned 705c/kg or $1540. The heifers were aged 6-15 months averaging 218kg.
Heifers 280-330kg accounted for 10pc of the catalogue, with 1644 head listed online- 67pc higher than last week. Despite the increased volume, demand for the category rose to 82pc with the average back 3c at 620c/kg. Heifers 330-400kg averaged 565c – back 32c from last week. The category had the largest listing of 1791 head where demand for feeder weight cattle was strong with 99pc clearance.
Heifers 400kg+ returned a 26pc clearance across the 718 head offered, with just 1pc of the Angus cattle (which made up most of the category) selling at auction – a clear example of high reserves set by vendors not aligning with those of the buyers. Based off previous weeks, however, the clearance rate will rise over the next few days following post sale negotiations.
Across the steer categories, all but the heaviest 400kg + steers averaged dearer this week. Steers 200-280kg had the largest offering this week, accounting for 12pc of the total catalogue with 1971 head offered. A 94pc clearance for the category underpinned strong demand as prices increased by 86c to average 757c. Steers 330-400kg averaged 608c – up 12c. The category had a total of 1374 head offered which was met with unwavering buyer demand as a 98pc clearance was recorded.
A line of 122 Angus weaner steers from Coles, SA averaging 335kg returned 689c/kg or $2310/head.
Mixed results across breeding stock lines were seen again this week, with NSM heifers and calves producing the largest fall as the category averaged $3594 – back $232 from last week. NSM cows and calves recorded an average of $3750 -up $238 from last week with a 97pc clearance for the 778 head offering. Station mated cows and calves recorded the largest week-on-week change, with the category averaging $3932/pair- up $508.
A line of 75 PTIC Angus heifers from Barraba NSW, 18-22 months averaging 456kg joined to Fullblood Wagyu bulls, to calve from early February, made 816.9c/kg or $3725 a head.
From Fullerton, NSW three even lines totalling 60 head of Hazeldean blood Angus station mated cows and calves returned $4830/unit. The four-year-old cows were joined to Hazeldean stud bulls while the calves at foot are 2-3 months averaging 179kg.