Excellent falls of rain through central and western Queensland and NSW during the previous week helped to rekindle buyer competition in online cattle trading on Friday, especially for quality lines out northern NSW.
Commercial cattle offerings reached 19,463 head for the week, a marginal increase on the week before, as clearance rates lifted across most categories.
With more than 6000 head offered across the 200-280kg and 280-330kg steer lines, up 20pc on the previous week, competition was fierce, with pre-auction catalogue views indicative of a robust auction. While clearance rates for both categories were up on recent weeks, with 200-280kg steers at 70pc and 280-330kg steers at 78pc, prices diverged.
The 3279 steers offered in the 200-280kg category averaged $43 or 46c/kg lower on last week, at $1785/709c, while the 280-330kg steers averaged $125 or 41c/kg higher, at $2163.
From Hungerford in western Queensland, a line of 208 EU accredited Shorthorn steers 7-8 months averaging 202kg returned $1860 or 919c/kg.
For the heavier lines numbers were again tight, with the 562 steers above 400kg selling to an 85pc clearance, but averaging $167 or 36c/kg lower on last week, at $2494 or 557c. A line of 12-13 month-old Angus steers 409kg from Penola, SA, returned $2610 or 638c/kg – heading to Murray Bridge, SA.
For the young heifer lines, it was three-up-two-down for average prices across the five categories last week, with the largest offerings again in the 200-280kg category. The clearance rates for the 2042 head of 200-280kg heifers was 79pc – up from 60pv a week earlier, albeit with prices slipping $8 lower, to $1767. In c/kg terms, this category dropped 13c/kg to average 706c,
From Douglas-Daly, NT, a line of 124 NSM Brahman future breeder heifers 266kg at 16-20 months returned $1390 – selling to a local buyer from Adelaide River. In the south, a run of 120 Angus heifers from Merton, Victoria, averaging 237kg returned $1850.
Heifers 280-330kg averaged $143 higher this week at $2054/head, while the 747 head of 330-400kg lines averaged $60 higher, at $2245/head.
As was the case for heavy steers, there was a limited number of 400kg+ heifers offered last week, with the 514 head averaging $61 or 14c/kg lower on last week, at $2324/head. A line of Santa cross heifers from Toobeah Queensland, 403kg returned $2090 and will travel interstate to a buyer in Colbinabbin, Victoria.
Through the proven breeding lines there was some major price movements last week, reflective of age, bloodlines, and buyer preferences. A reduced offering of 2646 PTIC heifers cleared only 57pc, while prices average $66 lower, at $2894. A line of 60 PTIC Angus heifers aged 20-22 months, from Moyston Victoria, averaging 377kg returned $3060 and will travel to Portland, Victoria.
Robust demand for PTIC cows contributed to a 76pc clearance for the 2197 head offered, with prices averaging $127 higher on the previous week, at $3119. From Cloncurry Queensland, a line of 220 Brahman PTIC cows ranging from 2-11 years averaging 459kg, returned $2360 and will travel southeast to Winton, Queensland.
A line of 152 Certified Organic station mated cows, with 88 calves at foot from Alice Springs NT, returned $2780/pair – heading to a buyer in Condobolin NSW. The cows of majority Angus and Charolais breeds were aged 2-11 years, averaged 511kg.
Prices as at 2pm, Friday 29 April.