Wagga sale 25 Sep 2017: Spring dry starts to bite

Leann Dax, 26/09/2017

Numbers climbed higher at Wagga, with the dry spring conditions beginning to bite. Agents yarded more than 4,600 mixed quality cattle.

Secondary cattle prices lost momentum with several categories recording cheaper rates. Weaker feedlot competition across lighter weight categories caused a notable drop in rates. Not all major feedlots were operating, however due to the price levels some feedlots commenced buying midway into the sale

Reasonable numbers of lighter weight steers hit the sale this week with vendors keen to sell, with more dry weather predicted. Lighter weight 330-400kg steers suitable to feed-on slipped 18c making from 224c to 292c/kg. Well-bred yearlings were commanding an average price of $1015. The medium weight portion 400-500kg was generally 3c cheaper, with the better bred pens making from 260c to 292c/kg. Off types sold down to a low of 255c or the equivalent of $1043.

Feeder heifers recorded a price correction due to a lesser amount of feedlot demand. Heifers weighing 330-400kg bore the brunt of the cheaper trend falling 9c/kg. National Livestock Reporting Service (NLRS) data noted 418 heifers in the above weight ranged topped at 267c to average $934. The medium weight portion eased 2c to average 251c/kg.

The increase in supplies of cattle suitable for the trade saw prices slip. Heifers were impacted most, with some trade buyers only operating on the top quality pens. Medium weight trades heifers sold 11c cheaper to average 244c/kg. Trade steers weighing over 400kg lacked the competition from all domestic processors causing prices to slip 5c most of the better quality pens made from 255-285c/kg.

The best of the vealer sold to 322c with buyers keen to secure fresh high yielding European calves and their crosses. The bulk of the vealers showed freshness and sold to strong demand to lift 22c/kg. Lighter weight vealers lacking finish sold to feedlots and southern restockers, with the bulk making from 240-300c/kg.

Prices for bullocks slipped due to the lack of processor demand with some buyers only operating sporadically. Competition weakened as with heavy steers 500-600kg selling 4c cheaper. The better finished pens sold from 250-280c/kg. The market for heavy bullocks fluctuated due to the limited numbers and aged steers were discounted. The National Live Stock Reporting Service (NLRS) said bullock prices were 6c cheaper averaging 257c/kg.

Cow numbers increased and all weights and grades were represented. Not all southern processors operated and some were very selective when making purchases. Generally the market slipped 11-18c/kg. Heavy cows ranged from 210-230c, with a few European cows making from 230-240c/kg. Leaner trade type rates fluctuated causing prices to dip 18c/kg. The main run of D2 and D3 cows sold at 186-220c/kg.


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