THE wet start to November has only added more heat to an already record cattle market this week, with the demand for light weight cattle continuing at unprecedented levels.
With a healthy offering of 20,010 commercial cattle online this week, $/head prices across lighter steer categories on AuctionsPlus improved, while lighter heifers eased in $/head terms.
On the back of the previous week’s jump in prices, the three lightest steer categories increased again this week, with steers less than 200kg rising $71/head, to average $1224. In c/kg terms, they declined 43c/kg on average for the week, to 694c/kg. Compared to only 260 head last week, this week’s offering of 1569 steers less than 200kg was the highest in several months, with the clearance rate reaching 93pc.
Coinciding with the surge in supply of the lightest steer lines was another very large offering of 200-280kg steers, with the 2514 head selling to an 89pc clearance. 200-280kg steers averaged $24/head higher on last week, at $1701/head, while in c/kg terms they declined 5c to 671c.
The heaviest steer category of 400kg+ slipped back $36/head, or 6c from last week, to average $2423 or 544c/kg – with another very large offering of 2219 head registering a 77pc clearance. If previous weeks are an indicator, this clearance rate will rise steadily over the next few days, as negotiations continue between vendors and buyers.
Among larger steer lines sold this week, 1600 Droughtmaster backgrounder steers off Fossil Downs Fitzroy Crossing in the Kimberley, mostly 10-13 months sold in seven mobs averaging from 266kg down to 166kg made from 757c/kg ($1700) at the heavier end down to 892c/kg ($1410) for a lightweight line of 250 head averaging 166kg. One of the keys to the outstanding sale was free delivery to Roma or equivalent in Queensland in order to attract eastern Australian bidders – a distance of 3369km.
The five young heifer categories returned mixed results this week, with prices edging higher for the two heaviest segments, but lower for lighter categories.
Lightweight heifers less than 200kg dropped 11c/kg on average to 684c, while 200-280kg descriptions eased 26c to 632c, with a 77pc clearance for the 981 head offered. Heifers in the 330-400kg category averaged $27 (11c/kg) higher, at $2149 or 597c.
It was another week of tight numbers and high reserve levels through the proven breeding lines, with mixed clearance rates. The 1382 PTIC heifers offered sold to a 60pc clearance, while prices slipped $52 lower on last week, to average $2822/head.
Always reliant on breed, age, and bloodlines, the PTIC cow category dropped back $420 this week to average $2784, with a 71pc clearance for the 846 head offered. An indicative line of 84 mixed age PTIC cows, Red Angus and Santa cross, 2-10 years averaging 551kg out of Tara in Southern Queensland, sold to $2520/head. The cows had been joined to Red and Black Angus bulls.
Out of Inverell, Northern NSW, 29 NSM predominately Angus cows with 29 calves at foot sold to $3820/unit – with the cows averaging 512kg and ranging from 2-5 years of age, while the calves averaged 203kg.