Restockers take charge at Ballarat + VIDEO

Murray Arnel, 22/11/2021


Yarded: 4133

EYCI: 1095c/kg

Feeder (EYCI) rating: -1pt

Steers: 500-650kg: $2650-$3180, av 523c/kg: 360-500kg $2320-$2800 av 592c/kg; 280-360kg $2030-$2440, av 707c/kg; 200-300kg $2020-$2150, av 820c/kg

Heifers: 360-500kg: $1980-$2360, av 532c/kg; 280-360kg $1900-$2510, av 677c/kg; 200-280kg: $1710-1900, av 675c/kg


RESTOCKERS from a wide area of eastern Australia gained the upper hand in a firm to stronger demand for store cattle at Ballarat on Friday.

Competing for a larger supply of 4133 (1400 more), the yarding contained the first drafts of this year southern-bred, autumn-drop weaners, along with an improved and greater of grown cattle.

Restockers from Gippsland, the northeast and southwest of Victoria, South Australia and southern, central and northern parts NSW supported the market pushing restocker lines in particular to new highs while feeder inquiry was noticeably more cautious and less represented.

Southern Qld-based Mort & Co was also an active participant in this November market securing lines of grown steers to feed on grain in two southern region feed-yards.

Auctioneer Graeme Nicholson, Elders, assessed the market for grown steers as a “fraction easier” with the major feedlot operators noticeably quieter.

What the feeders didn’t buy bullock finishers from South Gippsland captured, Mr Nicholson said.

“They’ve been absent from Ballarat sales for a number of months and there was a good number of heavy steers penned over 500kg to suit their job”.

Mr Nicholson said the demand for younger restocker cattle was exceptional, especially for heifers.

Well-bred young cattle penned in large lines he said made exceptional money, with several 2nd-draft pen of steers, and in some case their lighter heifer sisters making as much per head than their heavier 1st-draft steer brothers.

Charles Stewart auctioneer, Jamie McConachy agreed the market for heavy cattle was barely firm.

But where the market gained momentum and found a new level, he said was in the weaner section where a fresh supply of younger weaner cattle came forward.

Many of these cattle were only 8-9 months of age Mr McConachy said.

“They have a long way to ago in their journey to completion but the buyers seemed happy to pay the money and the breeders are willing to accept the money that’s being offered”.

In his post-sale summary of the market with Beef Central, Xavier Bourke, TB White & Sons, said selected heifer prices could easily been “a couple of hundred dollars dearer”.

Two pens to achieve exceptional results according to Mr Bourke were a yard of two-year-old Angus 575kg, from the Wylie family, Mt Mercer trading as Daelreom Angus, that made $2700, and a yard of 56 Cherrymount Angus weaners, 350kg, from Mick and Dawn Ernest, Streatham that sold at $2500.

Mr Bourke said that the grazier demand for heifers to join was too strong for the feedlot demand especially on the drafts of well-bred young females.

VIDEO: Watch Beef Central’s full interview with Xavier Bourke:

To commence the sale a yard of 17 Angus, 651kg, by GK&LT Orr, Bullarto made $3180 a head or 488c/kg.

Regular seller Mt Ararat, Pakenham, sold yards of 34 Angus, 585kg at $3100 (530c/kg) and 15 Angus, 561kg, at $3000 (535c/kg).

The Valley, Ararat sold 27 Angus, 555kg at $2940 (530c/kg) while F&G Richardson and Sons, Blampied, sold 42 Angus, 543kg, at $2950 or 543c/kg.

After having secured sales for feeder steers of a similar weight that averaged $6/kg in Ballarat’s month-earlier October sale, Colac vendor, Laravale, sold another two drafts of Angus, 472kg and 457kg, that made at $2750 (583c/kg) and $2660 (582c/kg) respectively.

The market top price of $3430 a head was paid for a yard of 10 Angus steers, 751kg. These were exhibited local vendor, Pine Lodge while vendor Ashgrove sold a yard of 50 Angus, 455kg that made $2600 (577c/kg).

As mentioned, the November market featured initial drafts of this year’s southern-bred autumn-drop weaners most of which were aged merely 8 to 10 months.

The Ernest family of Streatham presented their annual and complete drop of 300 Cherrymount mixed sex Angus, Franc-blood along with 132 St Omer Pty Ltd mixed sex Angus, Murdeduke-blood from Bambra near Deans Marsh.

The former, which made to $2550, 418kg (610c/kg), sold 154 steers to average 358kg, $2415/head and 675c/kg while the latter sold 91 steers to $2395, average 303kg, $2317/head for 763c/kg.

Other sales of 21-drop weaners included: 20 D&M Collins Angus, 411kg, $2500 (608c/kg), 19 Harrow Gem Angus, 364kg, $2500 (686c/kg), 32 Garvagh Angus, 348kg, $2440 (701c/kg) and 27 Twin Falls Angus, 305kg, sold at $2360 (773c/kg).

VIDEO: Watch Beef Central’s live vision of the opening sale of autumn-drop weaners:

Steer yards weighed under 300kg saw E Baker sell 15 Angus, 281kg, at $2240 (800c/kg) while SP Burgin collected $2150 (836c/kg) for 25 Angus/Hereford weighed at 257kg.

While sales of heifers were dominated by grazier interests the quality of the overall female yarding fell away sharply compared to the steer penning.

Nonetheless competition was full of purpose for the better bred and larger lines with renowned breeder lots attracting the fiercest contest.

Most sales of heavy grown heifers weighed between 480 and up to 530kg were priced between $2200 and $2340 at 430 to 450c/kg while grown heifers, 350-450kg generally made $2100 to $2260 selling up to 580c/kg.

Weaner heifers, 280-360kg, were mostly sold from $1930 to $2330 or 600 to 680c/kg while lighter heifers made $1720 to $1900 at 630 to 780c/kg.

The exception to these sales were three further pens of the Cherrymount heifers that made $2340, 380kg (615c/kg, $2310, 321kg (720c/kg) and $2100, 287kg (731c/kg) and a pen of R&J Keys Angus, 308kg, that made $2250 (730c/kg).

A yard of PM & JM Leech Angus heifers, 260kg, Lawsons-blood fetched $1900 a head to also make 730c/kg.

The November display of breeding females was once again thinly veiled.

The standout sale was a line of 26 Angus cows, with 8–12-week-old Angus calves at foot that made $4040 for F&G Richardson and Sons.

The line was re-depastured to Franc-blood Angus bulls from October 15 while, at $3980 per outfit, a pen of 10 Redwoods, Woodhouse Santa/Shorthorn cows, aged 8 years, was sold with two-month-old Shorthorn calves standing at foot.



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