Numbers climbed to just over 2500 at NVLX Wodonga as vendors sell off before the annual Christmas holiday break.
Prices did vary throughout the market, with some export and domestic processors not contesting all the better quality lines.
Young secondary cattle returning to the paddock generally firmed 5-13c, with lighter weights returning to the paddock selling from 365-382c/kg. Well-bred steers 280- 320kg sold from 365c to 375c to average 373c/kg, or $1110/head.
The feeder steer market showed some downside, slipping back 4-c/kg for medium weight lines. Demand for quality lighter weight steers and heifers were weak with prices 9-10c/kg cheaper. According to National Livestock reporting service, lighter weight heifers to feed on made from 294c to 326c to average 316c/kg.
On a positive note, most of the better trade weight cattle sold to keen competition, with two major domestic processors helping lift rates. Select butcher orders and increased demand cemented a floor in prices, with trade steers jumping 10c while the heifer portion firmed. Medium weight trades steers topped at 340c to average 315c, while the heifer portion sold from 282c to 315c/kg.
The best trade price was 378c/kg recorded for prime milk vealers but such sales were isolated, the bulk of the better European milk calves sold 2c higher making from 330c to 367c/kg. Other sales of milk vealers sold at 318-340c/kg.
Export cattle rates fluctuated as the market struggled to find a stable base amid mixed quality and looming abattoir closures for the Christmas holiday break. One single pen of milk teeth heavy steers hit 310c but the bulk of the better finished steers made from 272c to 305c easing 5c/kg. Demand for bullocks varied but as rule buyers weren’t prepared to push past 295c/kg. Heavy bullocks made from 275-295c, selling 7c/kg cheaper. Heavy feeder steers 500-600kg made from 305-325c to average 315c/kg.
The cow market lost momentum, with some processors not operating fully howeve,r there was a major Queensland processor back in the market after a lengthy absence. Heavy well finished cows sold 4c cheaper selling from 228c to 248c/kg. It was more of the same for leaner cow with prices dipping 9c/kg. Leaner cows to slaughter made from 194-238c/kg. Heavy bulls topped at 265c/kg