At NVLX Wodonga cattle numbers lifted to 2,600 and quality was very good across most categories.
Prime trade cattle sales remained sluggish, as the market struggled to gain momentum leading into the Christmas and New Year break. Bigger yardings and sporadic competition from feedlots and processors were factors in the varied results this week.
This was evident in the vealer market when prices dropped 8-15c for the tops of the drafts. The best price recorded was 352c while most sales of European calves sold at 310-348c/kg. Vealers sold down to a low of 295c, to average across the board for the better finished lines 339c/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 304-312c easing 9c/kg. Trade heifers sold to varying demand which resulted in prices easing 2c/kg. Medium weight trade heifers averaged 296c/kg.
Feedlot buyers were active over a range of weights and grades of yearling steers and prices were generally firm to 9c cheaper for the medium weights. Feeder steers 330-400kg made from 300-340c/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 rates slipped 12c while heifers over 400kg sold 6c cheaper reaching a top price of 321c/kg.
The best sales of heavy steers 500-600kg saw stronger demand from processors, with an extra major processor from Tasmania igniting the bidding on certain lines of younger black Angus steers. Rates for heavy steers and bullocks jumped 9-12c/kg. Processors paid from 280-315c/kg.
Cow numbers declined and not all southern buyers operated. The majority of high yielding leaner beef cows attracted the strongest competition however prices slipped 8-10c/kg. Heavy well finished cows made from 220-236c to average 226c/kg. Leaner types sold at 205-240c/kg.