A record breaking sale at Blackall in Queensland’s central west late last week provided further evidence of the depth of restocker demand that currently exists for store cattle.
Agents yarded what is believed to be a record 5944 cattle in the Blackall yards last Thursday, with cattle drawing from a 600km radius of the centre from as far west as Boulia.
The larger yarding had no dampening effect on prices with buyers from northern and western Queensland and western NSW operating in force to push prices 15c/kg higher than the previous week.
The best of the weaner steers topped at 257c/kg, with steers consistently making up to 240c/kg, while the best of the heifers made to 228.2c/kg.
By comparison, the previous week’s sale topped at 248c.kg, but for lighter cattle.
“The 248c/kg the previous week was for 198kg weaner steers,” Grant Daniel Long’s Blackall branch manager Jack Burgess told Beef Central yesterday.
“These were 230-240kg steers and they were making 250c, and there were even steers there that were 320kg that were making 250c.
“It was very consistent right the way through.”
Mr Burgess said seasonal confidence and recent prime market rises were key factors behind the strong demand.
“It was mainly the talk of the rain that is coming about, people are pretty confident they are going to get good rain again, and obviously the export market lifted quite considerably over the last three weeks,” Mr Burgess said.
“We have seen bullocks go from $3 on the hook up to $3.50-$3.55.”
A further factor was a shortage of numbers, particularly in northern areas where producers were eager to restock after experiencing lower calving rates in recent years, attributed to the impacts of wetter-than-normal seasons in disrupting joinings and causing losses.
The Eastern Young Cattle Indicator (EYCI), used by MLA’s National Livestock Reporting Service to provide a benchmark of vealer and yearling prices across the eastern States, continues to trade at historically high levels.
It closed last week at 402c/kg cwt, which is 8pc higher year-on-year.
This is also despite a 59pc rise in the number of cattle included in the EYCI last week compared to the same week last year.
“While numerous factors are underpinning prices, the resilient demand from restockers is the main driver sustaining current prices,” Meat and Livestock Australia reported on Friday.
“The influence restockers are having has been quite strong – the proportion of restocker purchases are up 16pc year-on-year, with restocker prices at 221¢/kg lwt, or 423¢/kg cwt.
MLA said with the restockers taking more cattle, the proportion of EYCI eligible cattle destined for slaughter or feedlots has dropped as a result.
“Feedlot purchases have fallen by 9pc, and slaughter purchases by 7pc. Yet the absolute number of cattle purchased by feedlots was 24pc higher, while processor numbers increased by 35pc compared with the same time in 2010.”
The following sale details on last Thursday's Blackall sale were provided by Grant Daniel Long:
Taylor Dennis Pastoral, ‘Coolagh’, Blackall, sold a very good run of Santa cross steers to average 227.2c/kg at 266kg to return $605/hd. Ballater Pastoral Co, ‘Ballater’ Hughenden, sold a tremendous run of Hereford/Droughtmaster Cross steers and heifers. The Steers averaged 215.5c/kg at 3057kg to return $658/hd. The heifer portion averaged 204.2c/kg at 276kg to return $565/hd.
Alan & Julie Hay of ‘Eka’, Jericho, sold a magnificent line of Red Brahman Steers to average 229.2c/kg at 243kg to return $557/hd. While the heifer portion averaged 208c at 210 kg to return $437/hd. P & DA Pidgeon of ‘Glenroy’, Stonehenge, sold a run of Santa and Santa/Brahman Cross steers to average 215.8c at 272kg to return $588/hd. The Wood’s Family from ‘Koondoo’, Blackall, sold soft Hereford/Santa/Charolais cross calves with the steers averaging 242.7c at 208kg to return $507/hd.
Clayton & Melanie Arnold of ‘Gelebele’ Muttaburra, had Charbray Steers top at 234.2c/kg weighing 232kg to return $543/hd. John and Nell Cameron of ‘Romulus’ Blackall sold a terrific pen of sold Limo/Shorthorn/Santa Cross heifers to top at 226.2c at 232kg to return $550/hd.Bloomfield Pastoral Co " Bloomfield " Blackall sold a quality draft of Droughtmaster strs selling to a top of 230.2 to average 223.2c, 262kg to return $585.00. Bulloo Lakes Pastoral Trust "Bulloo Lakes" Adavale sold a draft of Simbrah cross streers selling to a top of 248.2c to av 233.2c, 247kg to return $577.00. Tm & Kj Joseland " Eltham " Isisford sold Droughtmaster steers 231.2 227kg returning $526.00.
Lloyd Werai Grazing Co sold a draft of Hereford feeder steers topping at 184.2c to average 183c, 381kg to return $698.00. JT Parkinson " Newhaven " Yaraka sold a quality draft of Droughtmaster steers selling to a top of 242.2c to Av 222c, 280kg returning $623.00. Woodbine Livestock Trading " Woodbine " Blackall sold a quality draft of Droughtmaster cross steers selling to a top of 203.2 to Av 199.4 370kg returning $738.00. Thornleigh Grazing "Thornleigh " Blackall sold Droughtmaster feeder steers to a top of 188.2 423kg returning $797.00.
Swan Hill Cattle Co "Swan Hill" Blackall sold Santa/Charolais cross heifers, selling to a top of 228.2 to Av 214.2274kg to return $587.00. Bailey Properties "Paradise Downs" Blackall sold an excellent draft of Charolais cross heifers selling to a top of 217.2 258kg returning $561.00. Ambo Grazing Co, “Ambo”, Longreach sold a run of Santa and Droughtmaster cross feeder steers to top at 191c/kg weighing 385kg to return $793.The draft went on to average 196.2c/kg weighing 367kg to return $722/head. Bailey Properties, “Paradise Downs” Blackall, sold a good run of 238 Charolais cross steers to top at 253.2c/kg weighing 265kg to return $671/head. The mob went on to average 246.2c/kg weighing 272kg to return $670. CK & EM Egerton “Hanley” Barcaldine sold a good run of Droughtmaster /Braford cross steers to average 245.2c/kg weighing 250kg to return $614/head.
Barcaldine Downs Pastoral Co “Barcaldine Downs”, Barcaldine sold a good run of Santa weaner steers to a top of 157.2c/kg weighing 268kg to return $690/head. The draft went on to average 250.2c/kg weighing 246kg to return $614/head. Walker & Co “Tulmar” Winton sold a good run of Santa weaner steers to 235c/kg weighing 270kg to return $636/head. The draft went on to average 244.4c/gk weighing 228kg to return $557/head. SH & MA Neal “Gerogery”, Barcaldine sold a good run of Santa weaner steers to a top of 241.2c/kg weighing 209kg to return $505/head.The draft went on to average 227.7c/kg weighing 246kg to return $561/head. Ambo Grazing Co, “Ambo”, Longreach sold a run of Santa and Droughtmaster cross feeder heifers to average 174.7c/kg weighing 324kg to return $566.Walker & Co, “Tulmar”, Winton sold a good run of Santa weaner heifers to a top of 224c/kg weighing 239kg to return $536/head.The draft went on to average 222.9c/kg weighing 210kg to return $70/head.SH & MA Neal “Gerogery” Barcaldine sold a good run of Santa weaner heifers to 222.2c/kg weighing 193kg to return $430/head.
MHG & JJ O’Dell, “Colorado”, Jericho sold a fantastic run of Charbray Steers that topped at 244.2c/kg weighing 272kg to return $665 per head. BG & JM O’Dell “Toarbee” Jericho sold Charolais and Limousin cross steers that topped at 246c/kg weighing 22kg to return $547 per head, whilst their sisters topped 212.2c/kg weighing 220kg to return $467 per head. Adams & Son ‘Darracourt’ Blackall sold a great run of Simbrah Cross light feeder steers that topped 200c/kg weighing 355kg to return $710 per head. DC & FR Clein, “Coleraine”, Jericho sold great young Brangus cross steers that topped at 250.2c/kg weighing 221kg to return $554 per head whilst their sisters topped 224c/kg weighing 191kg to return $429 per head.
P & S Newton, “Maranda”, Barcaldine sold quality Droughtmaster steers that topped 245c/kg weighing 240kg to return$589 per head whilst their sisters 208.2c/kg weighing 210kg to return $439 per head. Seccombe Pastoral Company of ‘Kenya”, Muttaburra sold a quality line of 272 Brahman and Brahman cross steers that topped 179.2c/kg weighing 370kg to return $662 per head. Chandler Grazing, “Hillalong”, Barcaldine sold young Charolais cross steers that topped 256c/kg weighing 191kg to return$490 per head whilst their sisters topped 226c/kg weighing 170kg to return$385 per head. HC & JA Maxwell, “Hazelwood”, Longreach sold very good quality Brahman Feeder Steers that topped at 183.2c/kg weighing 423kg to return $775 per head. FJ & JG Manwaring, “Ballygar”, Aramac sold quality Santa steers that topped 246c/kg weighing 269kg to return $664 per head whilst their sisters topped 216c/kg weighing 274kg to return $594 per head.