Damp wintery conditions and plainer quality eroded prices at the top end in a similar sized yarding of 2,800 cattle at Wagga yesterday. The market opened cheaper on the back of an increase of plainer stock being yarded.
Steers suitable for the trade were up to 8c cheaper, with domestic processors more selective across all weights and grades. Crop finished and supplementary fed steers sold from 330-346c to average 339.4c/kg. Trade steers lacking finish sold from 300-332c/kg.
Heifer price trends varied with quality and weight tending to be the driving factor. Prices for better finished heifers were generally 8c cheaper selling from 288-334.2c/kg. Plainer shaped heifers with cover sold from 255-276c/kg.
Vealers were in short supply and the best kill price recorded was 345c with the balance selling from 285c to 342c/kg.
Most weaner heifers returning to the paddock 200-280kg hovered around 250-298c, with plainer bred lines contributing to the cheaper trend of 21c/kg. Good quality lines of Angus steers 330-400kg attracted strong northern restocker demand, with the lead pens lifting 10c selling from 340-356.2c/kg.
A very good selection of secondary steers was penned with some cattle travelling from as far afield as Broken Hill. The regular feedlot and opportunistic feeders were present and active. Some feedlot buyers were restricted by age weight and breeding, which contributed to values softening 4c/kg for medium weight steers. Medium weight steers to feed on made from 305-344c/kg. Lighter weights topped at 349c to average 332.6c/kg.
After some big gains export cattle lost some momentum due to weakening demand. Grown steers were quoted as 5c cheaper making from 280-345c/kg. Heavy bullocks were thin on the ground and the odd pen lot sold from 305-315c/kg. Heavy heifers failed to attract all processors and were up to 18c cheaper making from 282-326c/kg
The cow market lacked drive, with only four processors operating and competition was sporadic. Heavy cows sold 7c cheaper, while leaner grades eased 5-7c/kg. High yielding beef cows sold from 250-282c to average 260c/kg. Leaner grades ranged from 228-268c/kg