Young steer and heifer prices were generally easier in an online offering of 14,256 head this week.
Listings in the AuctionsPlus were down 6pc from the previous week, as rain and flooding continues to wreak havoc on the supply of cattle to market.
The market this week could be described as highly selective. Average value over reserve increased to a record high $272, while clearance rate came back to 66 percent at the closure of sales.
Breeding stock and steer numbers were mostly steady week-on-week, while heifer numbers contracted 21pc.
Increased listings of steers this week contributed to three-out-of-five categories losing most of last week’s gains.
A small offering of light steers less than 200kg were back this week, which helped prices increase 18c/kg to average 632c/kg.
A 35pc increase in the number of 200-280kg steers resulted in prices falling 74c/kg or $170 to average 708c across the 1245 head, for a 49pc clearance.
From Hannaford, Southern Queensland, 114 Angus x Brahman steers 6-10 months averaging 253kg returned 717c/kg.
Listings of 280-330kg steers were back from last week, with the 1056 head averaging 676c/kg– down 26c on last week for a 76pc clearance.
A line of 143 Angus steers 7-8 months averaging 325kg from Padthaway, SA returned 757c/kg or $2460/head – $160 over the reserve.
Numbers of 330-400kg steers increased to 1430 head and averaged 5c/kg higher at 627c, for a 78pc clearance. From Yea, Victoria, 15 Charolais steers 12-13 months averaging 371kg returned $2350/head – $250 over the reserve.
A smaller offering of 400kg+ steers sold to an average of 540c/kg – unchanged from the previous week, with a selective clearance of 35pc. From Tamworth, NSW, 19 Speckle Park steers 16-20 months averaging 470kg returned $2450/head, or 521c/kg.
Listings of heifers were back this week, with three-out-of-five categories registering lower average prices. Light heifers less than 200kg averaged $1017 across the 256 head offered, for a 93pc clearance.
Heifers 200-280kg were the only category to increase in numbers, with the influence of large lines out of Queensland putting downward pressure on prices. The 1394 head averaged 175c/kg lower at 547c/kg – losing all last week’s gains for a 39pc clearance.
A line of 114 Droughtmaster heifers 10-14 months averaging 241kg from Clermont, Central Queensland, returned $1380 – $230 over the reserve.
Offerings of 280-330kg heifers reached just 472 head, with prices falling 24c/kg or $108 to average 595c – as the clearance rate hit 69pc. From Weeaproinah, Victoria, 40 Angus heifers 12-13 months averaging 322kg returned $2180/head, or 678c/kg.
Prices for 330-400kg heifers fell $78 or 7c/kg to average $2205/head or 612c across the 1295 head offered, reaching a 91pc clearance. From Surat, Southern Queensland, 36 Ultrablack heifers 15-20 months averaging 387kg returned $2210 or 571c/kg.
Heavy heifers were met with strong demand, with the 599 head selling to a 69pc clearance and averaging $2554 – up $86 or 20c/kg on top of last week’s gains. From Tarcutta, NSW, 32 Angus heifers 17-19 months averaging 451kg returned $2450, or 544c/kg.
Breeding stock numbers were steady overall, but large fluctuations in numbers for individual categories caused mixed prices. Listings of PTIC heifers and NSM cows and calves were back on last week, while PTIC cows and SM cows and calves increased.
Listings of PTIC heifers were back from the highs of last week, with the 2111 head averaging $2864/head – up $467 on last week for a 62pc clearance. From Armidale, NSW, 26 Angus PTIC heifers 24-26 months averaging 435kg returned $3120/head – $320 over the reserve.
After a surge of PTIC heifers online last week, it was the PTIC cows turn this week. Listings increased 114pc to total 1313 head, selling to a 68pc clearance and $2532/head average – down $205 from last week.
From Euroa, Victoria, 20 Poll Hereford PTIC cows 2.5-3.5 years and averaging 547kg returned $2900 – $400 over the reserve.
A line of 30 Poll Hereford NSM cows with 33 calves at foot from Echuca, Vic returned $4620/pair – $820 over the reserve. The cows were three years old and averaged 660kg.
Prices as at 2pm, Friday 28 October.