‘Mind blowing’ Ballarat steer sale

Murray Arnel, 22/02/2021

Sale: Ballarat weaner and grown steer sale

Date: 19 February 2021

Agents: Ballarat Associated Agents

EYCI: 866.25c/kg

Feeder steer average: 477c/kg liveweight (EYCI rating +9.8 points)

Yarding: 5024 HEAD

Grown steers: 500kg+ $2230-$2650, av 422c/kg; 360-500kg $1820-$2330, av 477c/kg.

Weaner steers: 360-450kg $1700-$2190, av 488c/kg; 280-360kg: $1560-$1910, av 526c/kg; 200-280kg $1400-$1665, av 619c/kg.

Marty Gleeson, Clarendon sold his best yard of 56 Carrahill Angus steers, 475kg, at $2300

MAJOR lot feeder orders from across the southeastern states set alight a fearless demand for suitable feeder cattle at Ballarat’s annual grown and weaner steer sale on Friday.

The demand, which hovered in the $4.50- $5 a kilogram price range, saw much of the 1700-head grown steer section of the yarding return per head values of $2200 to $2330, before striking an absolute top for the day of $2650 for a yard of heavy bullocks tipping the scales at 706kg.

As a result of this relentless feeder demand a solid foundation was also maintained for the annual turn-off of the central west’s steer weaner.

Yarding approximately of 3300 of these mainly autumn-drop calves, the penning’s heaviest drafts that weighed in excess of 400kg frequently pulled prices between $1850 to a best of $2190 to average 488c/kg. While the 280-360kg portion of the yarding returned values mostly between $1600 and $1900/head to average 526c/kg.

Due to the blessing of an outstanding season that had prevailed across the area’s sourcing districts only a handful of light weight calves were presented.

Nonetheless these were not overlooked by the few local operators willing to indulge at this inflated regime rates, making $1400 to $1665 to average 619c/kg with the highest calculated out at 825c/kg for a pen offered at 186kg.

An elated Kate Paterson, Nullavale cleared her best yard of Angus weaners, 425kg, at $2080

Elders auctioneer Graeme Nicholson described the result as “absolutely exceptional”.

“To think that three-quarters of the way through a sale of just over 5000 cattle prices were still hitting $1800 a head and almost all of the weaners have sold beyond $5/kg was amazing” Mr Nicholson said.

“It truly is a credit to the vendors for their past investment in genetics and displays the strength of a wonderful season which have all come together here today.”

“You would go a long way in this country to see a better yarding than has been assembled here today” Mr Nicholson said.

James Haddrick, HF Richardson P/L auctioneer, saw the sale as being “extra-ordinarily good.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen (the market) any dearer on a sale of 5000 cattle” Mr Haddrick said.

“Right from the start the rate was $4/kg for heavy steers weighing 600kg and better, and it progressed from there with the little cattle making $6, $7 and $8/kg”

“And to be truthful, the quality over such a large yarding was amazing. Hats off to the breeders I say, Mr Haddrick said.

VIDEO: Watch the opening lane of sales:


Topping this extraordinary sale, at $2650, was a yard of 703kg Angus/Hereford bullocks, aged 20 months. Sold by D Beralli, these were purchased by a local trader while vendor SJ Mullane & Sons sold a yard of seven Angus, 680kg at $2620.

From there sales of 550 to 600kg steers consistently made $2270 and $2490/head. These included yards of both Angus and Hereford cattle while the 500 to 550kg steers were also sold in a tight range, making from $2240 to $2330 to vary between 410 and 470c/kg.

TB White principal, Leo White said results achieved in this section of the market were especially pleasing as the season had delivered a lot more weight than usual.

“The growing season has been very strong in the local area this year, Mr White said. And the cattle have responded accordingly to the point many came forward above the usual feedlot weights”.

“But weight didn’t worry the feeder buyers today and although the Gippsland heavy bullock finishers tried, they couldn’t go the rate”.

Mr White estimated that at least ten or more major feedlot orders were the cornerstone to the overall demand.

“It was surprising just how keen some of those feeder orders were. They wanted big numbers with three or four of them easily getting four or five loads each”.

Graeme Nicholson agreed and said from what his company was hearing many of the country’s largest lot feeders were now quite unsure of their future supplies. And this was one of their last opportunities to acquire suitable stock in big numbers for immediate feedlot entry.

VIDEO: Watch Graeme Nicholson’s assessment of the sale:

Other major suppliers to reap the rewards of this exceptional sale were: David George, trading as Lake Goldsmith who sold 80 Angus steers 16-18 months, Raff and Merridale blood.

These made to a top of $2380 (587kg) to average $2189 (472kg) or 463c/kg while the Gleeson family, Clarendon trading as Carrahill sold 89 Angus 15 months, Hazeldeen/Murdeduke-blood to $2300 (475kg) to average $2240 (454kg) or 494c/kg.

Vendors, B&J Day sold 40 Angus 22 months, Lawson-blood. These made to $2340 (578kg) and averaged $2323 (559kg) or 415c/kg while F&K Elderidge sold 54 Angus and Angus/Hereford, 15 months, Coolana/Banquet-blood, to $2250 (470kg) to average $2238 (467kg) or 479c/kg.

Glen Pretty, Beaufort averaged $2024 across a draft of 100 Angus that topped at $2170.

Deebys Way, Bamganie sold over three drafts pens sold 64 Angus, 18 months, Te Mania- and Barwidgee-blood, to $2150 (439kg), average $1982 (400kg) or 495c/kg.

In weaner sales, the market top sale at $2190, went to Jarlura. These were a March/April-drop pen Paringa-blood and yard weaned.

Weighed at 429kg these realized 509c/kg while Glen and Melissa Pretty, Beaufort, trading as Wolgan fell next in line selling an Ayrdale/Langi Kal Kal-blood line of 101 Angus, to $2170 (418kg) to average $2024 (392kg) or 516c/kg.

Normally a keeper of his own bred weaner steers, David George, Lake Goldsmith sold drafts of both 2019-drop and 2020-drop Raff and Merridale-blood Angus steers in this Ballarat market.

With the vast majority of the penning comprising Angus bloodline best priced of the Euro-cross lines was a yard of 14 Angus/Charolais aged 12-14 months.

Offered by A McIntyre these made $2000 (439kg) at 455c/kg while DJ Leonard “The Pines” sold a yard of 10 Charolais-cross, 418kg, at $1920 or 459c/kg.

A draft of RW Hay, Hereford/Shorthorn steers, 9-10 months, made $1990 (436kg) while a second pen of the same 370kg made $1730.

Other major weaner suppliers included:

Fraser Partners, Bo Peep: 93 Angus, Pathfinder/Murdeduke-blood, to $1950 (394kg) average $1857 (354kg) or 524c/kg.

Woodlands, Romsey: 100 Angus, Banquet-blood, to $2020 (410kg), average $1829 (362kg) or 506c/kg.

Illawong: 67 Angus, Barwidgee/Wilgunyah-blood, to $1960 (396kg), average $1880 (356kg) or 528c/kg.

Alpha Pastoral: 48 Angus, 14 months, Barwidgee/Franc-blood, to $2100 (436kg) average $2058 (417kg) or 494c/kg.

Mt Callendar: 88 Angus, to $1850 (378kg) average $1800 (344kg) or 523c/kg

Greenbank Partners: 54 Angus Langi Kal Kal-blood, to $1960 (416kg) average $1788 (352kg) or 506c/kg


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