Online offerings back 23pc, with all steer categories falling

Beef Central, 05/02/2023

These 103 weaned Angus x Santa/Brahman steers averaging 233kg out of Moonie, Southern Queensland sold for 588c/kg or $1370 on Friday.

Commercial cattle offerings on Nutrien and Elders’ online marketing platform AuctionsPlus showed a sharp decline this week, with the 9516 head offered down 23 percent on the previous week and 48pc on the same week last year.

While steer prices were cheaper across all five weight categories, the smaller offering produced some rejuvenated competition through the young heifer lines, with the average value over reserve picking up 17pc on the previous week, to $118/head.

PTIC heifer demand continues to suffer from the rapidly eroding rebuilding sentiment, with the 2877 head selling to a disappointing clearance rate and significant decline in prices.

The first week of February signals the return to routine for the cattle markets, with the disruptions and volatility of December and January in the rear-view mirror. With prices well back on year-ago levels and the EYCI trading in the upper half of the 700s, producers have been forced to quickly readjust expectations, even with plenty of feed still in the paddocks.

With clearance rates well below average at the conclusion of recent weeks’ auctions, it’s clear that many buyers are taking a “wait-and-see” approach in a falling market.

At the conclusion of Friday’s auctions, the average clearance rate was 45pc for the entire offering – ranging from 93pc for 274 200-280kg steers, to only 23pc for the comparatively large offering of 2877 PTIC heifers.

For context, in the corresponding week last year, there was 18,279 head offered with 1392 200-280kg steers registering an 82pc clearance and 3445 PTIC heifers hitting 75pc. Prices for both categories are down 33pc and 27pc, respectively.

Tighter numbers through the five young steer categories failed to rally prices, with all lines registering declines on last week on a c/kg basis. The largest category for the week, 280-330kg steers, with 831 head offered, averaged 8c/kg lower on last week, to average 476c. From The Rock in the NSW Riverina, 53 weaned Ultrablack/Angus steers averaging 287kg sold for $1510/head.

Feeder steer demand was steady this week, with the 436 head of +400kg steers selling to a 49pc clearance, with prices averaging 3c/kg lower at 411c.

Steers 330-400kg averaged 12c lower this week at 442c, with a comparatively healthy 72pc clearance for the 531 head offered. A line of 32 weaned Angus steers averaging 356kg from Camperdown in Southwest Victoria sold for $1750.

There was a very thin offering through the lightest steer lines this week, with the 274 200-280kg steers averaging a high clearance rate of 93pc, while prices averaged 24c/kg lower on last week, at 497c. Among them were 103 weaned Angus x Santa/Brahman steers averaging 233kg out of Moonie, Southern Queensland, which sold for $1370.

For the young heifer market, there was some steady demand through the lighter and mid-weight lines, with the 330-400kg heifers down 2con last week to average 417c. From Tooraweenah in Central West NSW, 21 380kg Angus/Hereford heifers sold for $1500.

Heifers 280-330kg averaged 482c this week, up 22c, with the 436 head offered registering a 50pc clearance. A line of 31 weaned Santa heifers averaging 281kg from Eidsvold, southern Queensland, sold for $1180/head.

56 Angus NSM future breeders averaging 404kg from Glen Innes on the NSW Northern Tablelands sold for $1900, equating to 470c/kg. For the wider 400kg+ heifer category, the 422 head offered sold to a 25pc clearance, averaging $1720.

Breeding cattle

PTIC heifers again dominated the breeding market, with plenty of pre-auction inquiry failing to translate to sales, with the 23pc clearance signalling some selective and cautious buying. For the 2877 head offered, prices averaged $327 lower on the previous week, at $2344.

From Augathella, Western Queensland, 55 Droughtmaster PTIC heifers 361kg sold for $1630. Out of Armidale on the NSW Northern Tablelands, 40 Angus PTIC heifers 509kg, sold to $2420.

PTIC cows were the only other major breeding category to register steady numbers this week, with the 801 head registering a 33pc clearance and averaging $2556 – up $96.

From Walla Walla, NSW Riverina, 12 Angus PTIC cows 712kg with heavy CAF sold for $3760.

Prices as at 2pm Friday, 3 February.







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