At NVLX Wodonga sale yesterday, hot dry conditions and the annual spring turnoff of well finished cattle kept numbers reasonably steady on 2936 head.
Prices continued to soften this week, as the market felt the pressure of the drying season and influx of numbers at other selling centres.
Export cattle were amongst the harder hit by the cheaper trends, with the main category of heavy steer’s 500-600kg dipping 7c/kg to average 284c/kg. Southern buying competition was sporadic, with feedlot buyers underpinning rates on all the better bred lines of younger steers. Steers to the feedlot in this weight category eased 6c selling from 282-294c/kg. It was an excellent line up of bullocks however; buyers were not prepared to push rates much over 290c, which resulted in a cheaper trend of 10c/kg. Well finished pens of bullocks made from 268-292.6c/kg. Crossbred bullocks ranged from 250-272c/kg.
Each agent offered excellent lines of top quality vealers, with the European calves and their crosses igniting the bidding, but at slightly less money than the previous sale. The best steer vealers eased 3c, while the heifer portion sold 8c cheaper. European vealers and their crosses made from 292c-329.2c/kg. Other sales of veal sold to fluctuating price trends dependent on fat cover and freshness and price did slide up to 15c for some categories.
The trade market was boosted by strong supermarket competition on all drafts of better finished steers 400-500kg. A pen of steers weighing 482kg recorded a top price of 325c/kg, while generally steers to the trade eased 3c to average 304c/kg.
Trade heifer’s prices softened 7c/kg this week as not all domestic buyers or feedlots competed fully. The better finished medium weights sold from 264-290c/kg. Lighter weight heifers which were grain fed attracted stronger bidding making from 270-309c/kg.
The strength of feedlot buyers for lighter weight steers was strong, with the best pen topping at 327c to average 318c/kg. Feeder steers 400-500kg eased 5c selling from 275-329c/kg.
The feeder heifer market lacked the drive of previous sales, with some feedlot buyer’s fence sitting. Lighter weight feeder heifers eased 16c selling from 258-282c/kg.
Cow numbers dropped to 870 and sales kicked off on a slightly cheaper trend. The main run of high yielding beef cows sold from 230-248c to average 239c/kg. Leaner grades sold to fluctuating prices, with leaner Angus cows paid premium prices. The high demand for Angus cows lifted rates 5c reaching a top of 249c/kg. The general run of leaner lines sold from 225-246c/kg.