At NVLX Wodonga cattle numbers were steady at 2,995 and quality was very good across most categories.
Prime cattle sales remained sluggish, as the market struggled to gain momentum leading into the Christmas and New Year break. Bigger yardings and stronger competition from feedlots were factors in the varied results this week. The talk amongst buyers is that beef sales remain slow which is effecting domestic demand.
This was evident in the vealer market when prices dropped 9-10c for the tops of the drafts. The best price recorded was 320c while most sales of European calves sold at 291-317c/kg. Vealers sold down to a low of 270c, to average across the board for the better finished lines 306c/kg.
Trade steers were in reasonable supply and feedlots rather than meat buyers were the main influence in the market. Medium weight trade steers made from 280-299c easing 6c/kg. Trade heifers sold to varying demand which resulted in prices easing 2-3c/kg. Medium weight trade heifers averaged 274c/kg.
Feedlot buyers were active over a range of weights and grades of yearling steers and prices were generally 5-9c cheaper. Feeder steers 330-400kg made from 280-317c/kg.
The feeder heifer market fluctuated because there were only limited supplies of Angus heifers 330-400kg, which generally command the higher rates. Lighter weight feeder heifer prices lifted 6c while heifers over 400kg jumped 18c reaching a top price of 299c/kg.
The best sales of heavy steers 500-600kg saw weaker demand from processors, with feedlot buyers dominating sales of younger steers. Processors paid from 272-293c/kg. Competition from feedlots was extremely keen for heavy grown steers and prices lifted 4c to reach a top of 318ckg. Heavy bullock supplies tightened and not all processors competed regularly throughout the market. Heavy Bullocks fetched from 262-291c easing 3c/kg.
Cow numbers declined by almost a third and not all southern buyers operated. The majority of high yielding leaner beef cows attracted the strongest competition and prices lifted 3-4c selling at 226-253c/kg. Heavy well finished cows were unchanged av 238c/kg. Heavy bull lifted 5-10c making from 275-310c/kg.