LISTINGS through AuctionsPlus commercial cattle sales reached 13,097 head this week, up 35pc on the previous week, assisted by an upwards price trend in some steer and heifer categories.
Weaners and yearlings were the main contributors to the higher supply, as vendors became more comfortable with prices on offer, but they continued to hold back on breeding stock.
The first days of spring inspired buyer activity, pushing the average value over reserve to $200/head.
Renewed confidence in the industry, as exhibited at recent bull sales, pushed prices for most categories higher this week. Demand was strong across most young stock categories, easily soaking up increased listings.
Buyers continue to be selective on quality and bloodlines for the breeding lines, with the average price paid over reserve at $204/head, while clearance rates were subdued at 52pc for the Eastern States cattle sale.
Listings of steers jumped across the board, with three out of five categories increasing in average price.
Listings of 200-280kg steers increased to 1489 head, which averaged $1859/head – up 67c/kg or $275 on last week, for a 98pc clearance. From Longreach, Western Queensland, a line of 120 Santa steers 3-10 months averaging 264kg returned $1840/head, or 696c/kg.
Medium steers recaptured last week’s falls, as 1248 head of 280-330kg steers averaged 36c/kg or $201 higher, at 667c and producing a 96pc clearance. From Bingara, NSW, 36 Shorthorn steers 10-12 months averaging 296kg returned 661c/kg or $1960 – $310 over the reserve.
A larger listing of 2123 head of 330-400kg steers dropped 19c/kg or $47 after back-to-back increases in previous weeks, to average 599c or $2159/head, at an 88pc clearance.
From Grong Grong, NSW, a line of 80 Angus steers 11-12 months averaging 351kg returned 641.6c or $2250/head – $200 over the reserve. A further 80 of their heavier brothers averaging 391kg made 611c/kg or $2390, while a third line of 36 backgrounder weight steers 325kg made 667.7c or $2170.
Heavy feeder steers also experienced strong demand for the larger listing of 1400 head of 400kg+ steers, with 94pc of listings sold to an average of $2425 – up 10c/kg or $42 on last week.
Heifer categories were all painted with green ink this week, except heavy lines, which slipped back off significant gains from the week prior.
A small offering of light heifers less than 200kg averaged $1452 – up $354 on last week. Listings of 200-280kg heifers increased to 1008 head, selling to a 92pc clearance and $1673/head average – up $42 or 29c/kg.
From Wandoan, Southern Queensland, 112 Hereford heifers 6-9 months averaging 213kg returned $1360/head – $140 over the reserve.
Offerings of 280-330kg heifers were up, with the 803 head reaching an 89pc clearance and increasing by $66, to average $2019/head. From Bombala, NSW, 63 Angus heifers 10-12 months averaging 307kg returned $2320, or 756c/kg.
More than double the number of 330-400kg heifers on offer compared to last week was not enough to dent prices, with the 1172 head reaching a 95pc clearance and averaging $2206 – up $7.
From Aramac, Western Queensland, a line of 150 Droughtmaster cross heifers 12-24 months averaging 339kg returned $1780/head – $380 over the reserve.
A significant increase in listings of 400kg+ heifers saw prices come back $96, following last week’s significant gains. The 810 head averaged $2490/head and sold to a 93pc clearance.
Vendors rebuilding intentions and thoughts of spring growth kept breeding lines on-farm, while selective buying inspired higher prices, but lower clearances. Listings of PTIC heifers declined to 1386 head, selling to a 43pc clearance and average price of $2585/head – up $111.
From Mudgee, NSW, 44 Angus PTIC heifers 24 months averaging 494kg returned $2,920 – $320 over the reserve.
Listings of PTIC cows were also back slightly, with the 417 head averaging $209 higher at $2785 and 58pc clearance. From Gulargambone, NSW, 14 Shorthorn PTIC cows 4-8 years averaging 612kg returned $2930 – $700 over the reserve.
From Mount Gamier, SA, 25 Angus cows and calves returned $4000. The cows were aged 20-24 months and averaged 405kg while the Angus sired calves were 4-8 weeks old and averaged 68kg.
Prices as at 2pm, Friday 2 September.