AS much of the south eastern regions of Australia continued to dry out this week, the overall supply of cattle continued to remain very tight on AuctionsPlus heading into the Easter break.
AuctionsPlus offerings dropped by 3240 head or 30pc on the previous week, to 7365 head.
Prices for lighter steer and heifer lines moved higher, while heavier steer categories eased in c/kg value.
Given the very wet March which created widespread logistical issues throughout the supply chain, and back-to-back disrupted selling weeks due to Easter, it now will not be until the full selling week ending April 16 that an accurate sentiment within the market can be assessed, AuctionsPlus suggested.
However, with mild temperatures and little rain forecast over the Easter period, there continues to be almost no seasonal pressure on the market, with most offloading reportedly due to income requirements, lured by attractive prices. The young cattle market continues to sit at all time levels, as the EYCI cracked a new record of 896.5c/kg cwt this week.
Looking ahead, widespread opportunities to purchase young cattle at any major discount to the current rates now looks to be in the final quarter of 2021, AuctionsPlus suggested.
This week, light steer categories less than 200kg and 200-280kg rose 68c/kg to 665c, and 23c to 626c/kg respectively, although some categories were only thinly traded.
Steers 280-330kg dropped 21c/kg, but still managed a 92pc clearance on the 1119 head offered; steers 330-400kg dropped 35c, and +400kg steers were back 11c/kg on the previous week.
All heifer categories moved higher in price, but again some divisions offered only limited numbers. Heifers 280-33kg were the best improvers, lifting 46c/kg, based on 539 head offered.
Of note this week, albeit on a very thin market, heifers (400kg+) averaged $105/head higher than steers at the same weight – $1829/head compared to $1724/head. Hesitant buying for the heavier steer lines, given the disrupted weeks will have impacted demand, while heavy heifers continue to be chased hard for herd rebuilding.
In the north, a line of 125 Grey Brahman steers 11-16 months averaging 298kg, offered by Hacon Grazing Julia Creek sold for 460c/kg or $1373. A second line of 96 their brothers, but including a few more Brahman cross types, made 477c/kg, while a third line of 96, slightly heavier at 300kg, made 463.6c.
Out of Tabulam, northern NSW, a line of 45 unweaned Santa and Santa cross steers 7-11 months averaging 267kg made 583.4c.
Among breeding stock, there was little change in price on the previous week, with the exception of station-mated cows, which lifted 56c/kg on average.
Bidding continued to be fierce for a very limited supply of assessed females with calves at foot. A line of 30 Angus NSM heifers 30-32 months averaging 544kg, with calves at foot out of South West Victoria averaged $3580 liveweight. Similarly, 75 18–22-month-old PTIC heifers averaging 420kg, out of Nundle NSW, sold to $2480.
Prices quoted as at 2pm, Thursday 1 April.