Feeder steer rating: -7pts
Steers: 500-650kg: $2100-$2540, av 429c/kg: 360-500kg $1750-$2300, av 480c/kg; 280-360kg $1650-$1810, av 531c/kg; 200-300kg $1420-$1630, av 615c/kg
Heifers: 360-500kg: $1680-$2150, av 433c/kg; 280-360kg $1470-$1720, av 498/kg; 200-280kg: $1380-$1600, av 591c/kg
SPIRALLING store cattle values sold at Ballarat on Friday kept pace with the beef industry’s surging Eastern Young Cattle Indicator that broke through the 900c/kg barrier earlier in the week.
Following on from a full-house Mortlake 6000-head store cattle clearance on the previous day, the rise in Ballarat prices was not unevenly distributed as heavy steers made up significant ground on lighter feeder steer sales which in turn were mostly unchanged on the centre’s previous 4400-head March market.
Heavy heifers were mostly firm and to a shade easier in places on the previous month’s market whereas all categories of younger weaners, and in particular heifer weaners, were also significantly marked higher fueled by grass-driven restocker buying.
Auctioneer James Haddrick, HF Richardson confirmed while competition was stronger across the board, not all classes were dearer.
Heavy steers and light cattle sales were the stand-out, Mr Haddrick said.
“Although we’ve been saying it for some months that these classes were have never dearer, the support especially for the lighter weaner was enormous with local buying and orders from the northeast, southwest and Mallee regions of Victoria competing with several NSW-placed orders.
Jamie McConachy, Charles Stewart & Co, said another interesting aspect of the sale was the appetite of the feedlot demand that saw almost any steers and heifers suited to feed trucked to numerous destinations across Victoria, South Australia and NSW.
Surprisingly there was no attendance from the east of Melbourne, in particular South Gippsland who normally support and buy a good number of the heavy steers from this market, Mr McConachy said.
All of the grown cattle, including the heavier steers over 550kg and up to 650kg were taken by the feedlots, and at the increased prices, he said.
Watch Jamie McConachy’s full interview with Beef Central which also contains comments on the previous day’s Mortlake sale:
Graeme Nicholson, Elders. also claimed the result was very, very good.
“There were no complaints from my end but I wasn’t buying,” Mr Nicholson said.
He assessed that heavy steer values were a least 20c/kg dearer and possibly more while feeder steers and heavy heifers were only firm: “the latter possibly being a shade easier”.
However, Mr Nicholson added that the demand for heifers quickly escalated to extraordinarily levels once weight dropped to below under 400kg to the point where some heifers at 230-240kg made more per kilogram than steers of the same weight from the same consignment.
It was ‘a most extraordinary sale’, Mr Nicholson added.
Opening the sale Meredith, Vic vendor KG Bailey sold a yard of 11 Angus bullocks, 619kg, at $2530. They realized a per kilogram rate of 408-cents while a second lighter pen from the Bailey consignment, weighed at 595c/kg, made $2460 or 413c/kg.
The next two yards sold account Trident, each contained 22 Angus that weighed 610kg and 572kg respectively. These made $2520 and $2370 per head and were booked to complete an interstate order placed by Nutrien Tamworth, NSW.
Other significant heavy steer sales included a yard of 21 Angus, 546kg, sold at $2440/head or 446c/kg for DM & SM Anderson while a second yard of 18 Anderson Angus steers, 500kg, made $2290 or 458c/kg.
BF & JJ Toohey sold 16 Hereford steers, 437kg at $2000 while Minikan P/L sold 21 Murray Grey, 472kg, at $2150.
Through the feeder weight run vendor J. Larson sold 18 Angus, 441kg, at $2060. Nebpak Enterprises sold 13 Angus, 510kg at $2350 while AS Taylor sold 10 Angus, 422kg at $1970.
P Rumler & Sons, were rewarded with the excellent result of $1960 for 17 Angus, 412kg while Williams Bros, sold 14 Angus, 393kg at $1900.
Feed yards from SA, (Thomas Foods), NSW (Ravensworth, J &F Yambinya and Bunnaloo) and Victoria (Teys and Hopkins) all completed strongly across the grown steer yarding while commission orders held by Campbell Ross and Duncan Brown filled the gaps.
Watch the opening lane of sales streamed live on the day by Beef Central:
Sales of the heavier weaner steers were also greeted with the same enthusiasm by the various feeder orders.
E&A Stephens & Sons sold 18 Angus, 434kg, at $2080, GA Crick & Sons sold 28 Angus, 389kg, at $2020 while J&T Bolton sold 21 Angus, 372kg, at $1960.
A heavier yard of 12 J&T Bolton Angus steers, 411kg, made $2050 while Carahil sold 14 Angus, 408kg, at $1980.
As the weights declined rates more consistently traded above the $5/kg level.
D&S May sold 20 Angus, 388kg at $1920, Spring lake cleared 18 Angus, 369kg at $1900 while a third pen of 14 J&T Bolton Angus, 339kg at $1810.
For breeds other than Angus competition remained keen at slight lower rates.
Rosebank sold 12 Shorthorn steers, 400kg at $1900, Messmate Rises sold 17 Hereford steers, 406kg at $1940 while V&C Goy sold 21 Charolais-Angus steers, 276kg, at $1640.
A second yard of 22 Goy Charolais-Angus steers, 238kg, made $1600 to realize 672c/kg.
Through the weaner run an opening bid of at least $1600 was required in order to purchase all well- bred pens offering weights of 250kg or better while those lighter made upwards of $1450.
In the heifer run feeder buyers were again to the fore with the heaviest yards sold to $2150 (502kg) with most 350kg-plus heifers sold upwards of $1750.
This equated to a per kilogram range of 380 to 450-cents with most traded around the 425 to 440c/kg level.
As mentioned, the demand for the lighter weaner heifers was shifted to a higher gear with the majority sold above $5 to $5.80/kg with odd sales of fresh-conditioned, well-bred, spring-drop heifers lifted about $6/kg, topping at $6.90c/kg.
This latter example was a pen of 24 V&C Goy Charolais-Angus, 234kg, that made $1600 and were secured by a local domestic lot feeder.
In dollar per head terms weaner heifers, 280-360kg mostly made $1550 to $1700 while those lighter traded from $1350 to $1600.