The first sale of 2017 at Wagga produced mixed price trends in a yarding of 3,200.
Light weight store cattle rates softened due to fewer restocking orders in place. Light weight straight bred weaner steers, 200-280kg returning to the paddock made from 320c to 396c/kg. Plain-quality steers sold down to 318c, while the better conditioned heifers to the paddock ranged from 314c to 368c to average 354c/kg.
The feeder steer market showed solid resilience, to any downside prior to the Christmas break. Demand for quality steers and heifers were evident, with steer prices firm to 7c dearer. A total of 518 steers weighing 400-500kg purchased by various feedlots sold to a top of $1657 to average $1512. Lighter weight heifers to feed on were well supplied and prices were unchanged to average 333c or $1240.
On a positive note, most of the better trade weight cattle sold to keen feedlot competition. Domestic processors were subdued and very select when making purchases. Medium weight trades steers averaged 320c while the heifer portion sold from 280c to 326c/kg.
The best trade price was 369c/kg recorded for prime milk vealers but such sales were isolated, the bulk of the better milk calves selling from 318c to 365c/kg.
Export cattle sold to fluctuating competition reliant on breed for stronger demand. Not all buyers were active and, prices were generally 7c cheaper for heavy steers while bullocks gained momentum. The better finished heavy steers and bullocks made from 280c to 325c/kg.
The cow market was extremely buoyant, with both southern and northern buyers competing strongly to secure numbers. Prices lifted 19c/kg for heavy well finished cows, selling at 230c to 265c/kg. Leaner grades met stronger competition fetching from 205-248c/kg.