Cattle prices continued to fluctuate this week as quality and buyer demand varied over all categories in a smaller yarding of 2200 at Wagga.
Store cattle categories were anything from dearer to 30c/kg cheaper. Agents said the unsettled market made it difficult to value cattle and gave no confidence to some farmers to trade cattle.
The mixed quality of cattle in typical winter condition was blamed for some of the erratic trend, with increased supplies of lighter weights the other factor.
The National Livestock Reporting Service quoted weaner steers back to the paddock 280-330kg up to 30c cheaper, while lighter weights however 200-280kg lifted 10c to average 355c or $796. Meanwhile the weaner heifer portion attracted more competition lifting 25c to average $722
Meat buyers struggled to make a start with only the heifer portion suitable to slaughter. Crop finished heifers met steady competition and prices were generally firm on last week’s market. The main line of heifers to the trade sold at 275-301c/kg. There were insufficient numbers of trade steers to quote, with the best steer making 317c/kg.
The slaughter quality of milk vealer calves has slipped as the season draws down, a few vealers suitable to kill sold at 290-312c/kg.
Prices for yearling feeder cattle were again influenced by grain prices and the level of buyer demand. The bulk of the 400-500kg feed steers slipped 12c topping at 338c to average 313c/kg. The lighter weight feed steers slipped 3c to average 322c/kg.
Feeder heifers were keenly sought weighing 330-400kg and prices jumped 16c making from 295-324c/kg.
In the export market prices were relatively stable for both heavy steers and bullocks. Heavy steers topped at 300c to average 291c/kg. Bullocks fetched 270-292c/kg.
Cow prices opened this week softer, with prices back 2-4c/kg. Heavy cows sold from 240-263c for higher yielding types. Leaner coes made from 205-245c/kg