The first prime sale of year at NVLX Wodonga produced a bigger offering of just over 1,700 cattle. The market opened up to mixed price trends with some processors yet to commence buying at physical markets.
The seasonal shortage of top quality domestic slaughter cattle gave the market some edge, with prices improving by up to 10c/kg.
The trend was evident overall trade yearling categories where the best heavy steers 400-500kg sold 10c dearer to reach a top price of 278c, while the limited mixed quality supply of secondary steers suitable to feed on 400-500kg sold from 275c to 314c/kg.
Trade heifers experienced stronger demand overall classes with domestic processors having to outbid local feedlot competition across some lines of grass finished heifers. Generally heifer prices were 7-8c dearer making from 247-270c/kg. Plainer quality heifers suitable for feed lots sold from 255-275c/kg.
Vealers made up a large percentage of the trade run and sold to erratic bidding, particularly the heavier portion. The best price recorded was 310c, while most other sales ranged from 260c-308c, with a lot of well finished calves making around the 270c/kg mark. Vealers lacking finish or British bred sold to feedlots, selling from 274c-310c/kg.
Export cattle sold to fluctuating price trends influenced by limited competition. Heavy steers 500-600kg sold from 246-270c with a single pen topping at 274c/kg. Bullocks sold mainly to only one major export company making from 248-268c/kg.
It was a small test for the cow market with less than 300 yarded. Both heavy and the better covered lean cows sold to weaker price trends prior the pre-Christmas sale. Heavy cows made from 196-213c to average 207c/kg. Leaner grades sold at 181-210c/kg.