WEAKER demand in a softening cattle market was reflected in lower clearance rates on Elders and Nutrien’s online platform AuctionsPlus this week.
A total of 13,822 head were offered – up 15 percent on last week but 20pc below the corresponding week last year, with red ink taking over the young cattle prices (see table below).
Steer listings drove the increase in offering numbers this week with a 40pc rise, led by heavier weight steer categories, while heifers and breeding stock numbers were steady.
Clearance rates are expected to lift as agents and buyers find a middle ground through post-sale negotiations.
Steers 200-280kg averaged 509c/kg this week across 572 head offered – down 7c/kg on the previous week and returning a clearance rate of 73pc. From Richmond, North Queensland, 102 Brahman steers 9-12 months averaging 278kg returned 438c/kg or $1220/head.
Listings of 280-330kg steers increased 22pc to 906 this week and averaged 466c – down 24c or $59 from last week and reaching 73pc clearance. From Lake Mundi, Southwest Victoria, 30 Angus steers 10-12 months averaging 291kg returned $1420.
Steers 330-400kg listings increased 87pc this week to 1792 head and averaged 76c/kg lower at 439c for a 40pc clearance. From Wandoan, Southern Queensland, 120 Droughtmaster steers 12-16 months averaging 371kg returned 415c/kg or $1540.
Heavy feeder steer +400kg listings increased 55pc to 1510 head and averaged 418c – down 10c from last week for a 47pc clearance. From Wagga Wagga, NSW, 61 Angus steers 9-11 months averaging 402kg returned 433c/kg.
Young heifers were met with a softer market week-on-week with prices easing across the board. Heifers 200-280kg averaged 429c across the 666 head offered – down 42c/kg or $81 from last week for a 55pc clearance. From Tarago, NSW, 18 Angus heifers 6-8 months averaging 276kg returned $1300.
Listings of 280-330kg heifers were back 29pc this week at 422 head and averaged 397c/kg – down 28c, and achieved a 64pc clearance. From Guluguba, Southern Queensland, 43 Hereford heifers 11-14 months averaging 295kg returned 345c/kg.
Listings for heifers 330-400kg increased 31pc to 1407 head and averaged 14c/kg lower at 393c. From Walgett, NSW, 85 Angus heifers 9-11 months averaging 346kg returned 422c/kg.
Heavy heifers +400kg averaged 374c this week, down 17c/kg across the 763 head listed, and cleared 43pc. From Tambo, Western Queensland, 75 Santa heifers 16-24 months averaging 428kg returned 350c/kg.
Weaker restocking demand was reflected in subdued clearance rates across the breeding stock categories this week, while some quality lines of PTIC cows helped support prices for the category. The 834 head increased by $142 to average $2290/head, reaching a clearance rate of 53pc. From Cunnamulla, Western Queensland, 79 Santa PTIC cows three years averaging 436kg returned $1760/head.
PTIC heifers continued to lead listings with 2351 head on offer averaging $2142/head – down $151 on last week. From Cootamundra, NSW, 43 Angus PTIC heifers 18-19 months averaging 448kg returned $2540/head – $240 over the reserve.
From Rosewood, NSW, 38 station-mated Angus cross cows with calves at foot returned $3100. The cows were 2.5 years old and averaged 424kg.
Prices as at 2pm Friday, 17 February.
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