Heavy rain across much of NSW and Victoria had an immediate effect on prices at Wagga on Monday, in a slightly larger yarding of 4000. Meat & Livestock Australia said cattle prices tracked at dearer levels over all categories, with secondary lines showing the greater price increases.
A highlight of the sale was store steers 200-280kg which reached a high of 374.2c/kg. The surge in prices for secondary cattle meant store steers rates jumped 18-20c to the previous market, to average 337c/kg or the equivalent of $829. Heifers returning to the paddock lacked the quality of previous weeks making from 250-309c/kg.
Rain fuelled feeder steer prices in all weight ranges, with northern feedlots dominating the market. Generally feeder steers sold 6c-10c dearer. Stronger demand for feeder steers 330-400kg saw rates lift 6c to average 310c/kg. Medium weight feeder steers regularly made from 295-324c/kg.
Meanwhile the feeder heifer market bounced, with a major feedlot order from Queensland lifting rates 10c for heifers 330-400kg. As the market progressed heifer prices continued to rise reaching a top of 316c to average 297c/kg.
Robust demand from feedlots pushed trade prices up 17c/kg. Trade steers 400-500kg reached a top of 314c to average 310c/kg. Trade heifer prices continued to come under pressure from feedlot buyers which resulted in a dearer trend of 9c/kg. The better finished trade heifers sold from 275-306c/kg.
Grown steers and bullocks were in reasonable numbers and quality was very good. Buyers paid up to 297c for young Angus steers 500-600kg which contributed to a dearer trend of 12c/kg. Competition between some domestic processors and exporters saw the bulk of the better quality bullocks make from 272-279c/kg.
There were signs that export processors are prepared to push the market higher, due to diminishing numbers in northern markets. High yielding beef cows jumped 14c to average 229c/kg. Leaner cows were keenly sought by northern processors which resulted in rates increasing by 13-17c making from 200-226c/kg. Restockers were also inspired to enter the cow market paying from 190- 223c/kg.