The interruption to the Wagga cattle sale last week due to the Queen’s Birthday long weekend pushed numbers higher. Agents yesterday penned 5600 cattle, 600 more than two weeks ago.
There was a greater quality variance across weaner and yearling categories, with increased numbers showing the effects of the cooler conditions.
Bidding overall secondary lines was stronger with quality of cattle a factor.
The higher rates tended to be for better bred lines which resulted in cattle returning to the paddock jumping 20-30c/kg. The better lines of light weight steers 280-320kg made from 280-307c to average 296c/kg. Plainer steers sold from 230-268c/kg. The best value on the day was for the very light weight portion (200-280kg) with store buyers averaging 270.3c/kg.
Feeder steers continued to show solid gains, with the lighter weight steers 280-330kg lifting 17c to average 296c/kg. In contrast the medium weight feeder steers managed a 5c rise making from 250c-302c/kg
Vealer prices were dearer across all categories this week with the best quality calves making from 290-312c/kg. A much larger percentage of vealers made from 250-284c/kg.
In the heifer market the best of the medium weight heifers sold to strong feedlot and domestic trade competition, while the lighter weights sold mostly restockers and feedlots. Medium weight grain fed heifers sold to stronger bidding from the trade which pushed prices 5c higher, with the grain fed portion selling from 277- 298.6c/kg. Heifers which needed further finishing (330-400kg) were absorbed by strong feedlot competition, with most sales 10c dearer selling from 232-286c/kg.
The shortage of top quality bullocks gave the market an edge this week, with prices improving 5-9c/kg. The dearer trend was evident in early sales where the best heavy grown steers sold to 302.2c/kg. Heavy bullocks reached a top of 296.2c to average 278c/kg.
Prices were 4-5c/kg weaker for the better-quality cows, while others of poorer meat yields were 4-10c cheaper. Better-quality cows made mostly 192-220c/kg. Leaner grades offering some reasonable dressing percentages made from 162-196c/kg.