The first prime sale of year produced a small offering of only 588 cattle.
The seasonal shortage of top quality domestic and export slaughter cattle gave the market an edge at Wodonga, with prices improving by up to 11c/kg.
The trend was evident over all slaughter cattle, where the best heavy steers 500-600kg sold 10c dearer to reach a top price of 328c, while the limited mixed quality supply of bullocks made from 274c to 308c/kg.
Trade cattle experienced steady demand overall classes with domestic processors having to outbid local feedlot competition across all lines of grass finished steers and heifers. Generally trade prices were unchanged. Trade steers sold from 300-310c, while the plainer quality heifer portion sold at 270-318c/kg.
Vealers made up the bulk of the yarding and were in high demand, particularly the heavier weight portion, with prices 6-10c/kg dearer. At the same time heavier vealer heifers were 10c/kg dearer. The best price recorded was 364c, while most other sales ranged from 318c-364c/kg. Vealers lacking finish sold to feedlots, selling from 310c-371c/kg.
The smaller group of feedlot buyers did have an impact on values, with prices generally 10c cheaper. Medium weight steers 400-500kg made from 310c -364c/kg. Lighter weight Angus heifers suitable to feed on met strong competition and sold to 331c/kg.
It was a small test for the cow market with less than 100 yarded. Both heavy and the better covered lean cows sold to similar price trends of the pre-Christmas sale. Heavy cows made from 204-235c to average 222c/kg.