Markets

Wagga sale 1 May 2017: Prices strengthen again

Leann Dax, 01/05/2017

Wagga cattle numbers increased by 740 to 3960 head and the bigger numbers had some effect in a stronger market.

Cattle prices strengthened again following on from the significant price surge the previous week, due to damp conditions and limited supplies at most southern selling centres.

The higher prices of last week offered, caused a host of plainer conditioned weaners and yearlings to enter the market regardless of the favourable autumn conditions. The plainer selection did effect processors competition but provided feedlot companies with more choice.

This was evident over lighter weight classes with the bulk of the weaner offering selling to feedlot orders. Lot feeder buyers and back grounders, dominated the market pushing light weight feeder prices 6-11ckg higher. Well-bred young steers 330-400kg made from 328c-388c to average 345c/kg.

Prices for feeder heifers strengthened on the back of the smaller heifer offering. Medium weight heifers to feed on jumped 8c making from 325c-364c/kg. There were greater numbers of lighter weight heifers to feed on and they made from 320c-384c/kg.

Restockers struggled to pay the higher rates and bidding was very selective with most store buyers operating in the 200-280kg weight range paying from 340c-438c/kg. Store steers were generally 15-30c cheaper. Plainer steers returning to the paddock which lacked conditioned and frame topped at 360c/kg. There was a price variance based on breed and condition for store heifers and rates varied from 330-400c/kg, for the 200-280kg portion.

Bidding for medium weight trade steers lacked intensity due to the plainer quality. After some competition late in the sale, medium weight steers topped at 352c to average 348c/kg. Once again domestic processors were forced to shift their focus to the heifer portion and quality was plainer and feedlots dominated. Domestic processors paid from 315c-348c a cheaper trend of 9c/kg.

Vealer quantity dropped away, as traditionally occurs this time and year which pushed rates considerably higher. Vealers with finish and freshness made from 355c to 385c/kg.

The seasonal shortage of export cattle was reflected in the heavy steer prices with the better quality pens selling 8c dearer making from 285-354c/kg. Bullocks were limited and prices softened 12c to average 313c/kg. Heavy heifer rates also weakened with the better shaped pens selling from 275c-335c/kg.

The cow market continued to hold it own with prices unchanged for higher yielding lines. Heavy cows made from 238-260c, while good clean lean cows sold from 228c-244c/kg.

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