FOR a third consecutive week, more than 21,000 head of commercial cattle were offered through AuctionsPlus main Friday sales, with many buyers still searching high-and-low for quality, lighter lines.
Lighter steers showed some substantial lifts in average price, while most heifer lines eased. Quality again dictated some large swings through the proven breeder lines.
Small average price declines for the 280-330kg steer category were overshadowed this week by sharp jumps in the remaining three steer categories.
Steers 200-280kg liveweight averaged 25c/kg higher, at 769c/kg. A line of 136 Droughtmaster cross steers 6-12 months averaging 225kg from Ben and Robin Brown, Bogunda, Prairie, North Queensland returned $2150, or 840c. A further 168 of their heavier and older brothers, 336kg at 12-15 months made 659.4c.
In the southern states, a line of 73 Angus steers 6-7 months averaging 247kg from Branxholme Victoria, returned $2070 or 837c.
A very thin market of steers less than 200kg sold to a 100pc clearance rate, with the average price jumping 32c/kg to 708c. At the other end of the spectrum, steers more than 400kg averaged 20c better, 551c/kg or $2370 head, with a 74% clearance rate for the reduced 1,140 head offered.
A line of 9-11-month-old Angus steers 409kg from Inman Valley, SA, returned 627c/kg. In Queensland, 34 Angus steers 10-12 months averaging 403kg, from Allora returned 611c/kg.
For 330-400kg steers, demand improved, with the 2756 head offered selling to an 85pc clearance – averaging 30c higher on last week, at 626c. From Bundurra NSW, two lines of 6-7 month old Angus steers averaging 348kg topped the category, returning $2610 or 750c.
Four of the five heifer categories dropped in price on a c/kg basis, reflecting the differing quality through the market. Heifers 200-280kg dropped 25c or $101 on last week, to average 708c, with a below average 58pc clearance for the 1203 head offered. In contrast, the 280-330kg heifers kicked 35c or $108 higher, to average 631c or $1912 – with an improved 73pc clearance rate for the 1909 head offered.
Heifers 330-400kg dropped 29c or $132 this week, wiping out last week’s gain, to average 606c or $2164. While last week’s average was bolstered by some excellent lines, this week’s offering was more consistent and ‘normal’, with the clearance hitting 87pc for the 1416 head offered. Heavy heifers +400kg averaged $15 higher on last week, averaging $2453/head.
PTIC heifers again dominated the breeding stock numbers, with the 3152 head offered selling to a 72pc clearance rate. Bolstered by a market high of $5675/head, PTIC heifers averaged $3199 this week – up $184 on last week.
An increased numbers of PTIC cows, at 1894 head also sold to a stronger market, averaging $169 higher on the previous week, to $2992.
Prices as at 2pm, Friday 4 March.