Wagga sale 27 March 2018: Numbers dip before Easter break

James Nason, 27/03/2018

The influx of plainer bred and non-descript cattle created mixed price trends at Wagga.

And surprisingly numbers dipped for the last sale before the Easter holiday break. Agents yarded just over 4,100 cattle down 500 on the previous market.

The one positive trend was quality well-bred steers, to the feedlots   made up to 308c/kg. Softer competition from restockers for a range of young cattle led to some weaker results, while plain light weight store conditioned steers were harder to sell. Steers under 320kg averaged 273c a cheaper trend of 27c/kg. Store orders were limited with most competition from the local area. Plainer steers sold from 238-263c/kg.

Weaner heifer quality slipped this week, with increased numbers in store condition. The plainer quality led to prices dipping as low as a 1.90c/kg, while the better conditioned and bred lines made from 236c to 325c/kg.

Feeder steers were once again well supplied, with several feedlot companies underpinning the market for the medium weight portion. Well-bred bred Angus and Hereford steers ranged from 275c to 299c/kg to average $1310/head. Sales of lighter weight steers varied, with opportunistic feedlots at times the market drivers. The better sales of 280-320kg ranged from 274c-295c/kg.

Similarly the market for light feeder heifers faded with prices easing 6c, while the medium weights were dearer. The bulk of the lighter weights 330-400kg sold from 225c-284c/kg.

Prices for top quality slaughter cattle were dearer for the heifer portion, however prices did fluctuate and off the top trade cattle generally eased a few cents per Kilogram. The best trade prices recorded were for fresh well finished vealers which sold from 272c to 320c/kg. Any milk calves which lacked finish sold to lot feeders making from 275c to 298c/kg.

Grown steers and bullock numbers were similar and price trends were mixed. Heavy steers sold 4c dearer while bullocks dipped 14c, in dollars per head terms heavy bullocks sold to $2017/head.

This week in the cow market there was some bounce for store cows, while heavy well finished lines sold to steady competition. Better sales of heavy cows included European cross lines which made from 192 to 218c/kg. Leaner grades were unchanged making from 158c to 192c/kg. There was solid support for young light weight cows with store orders in placed from Gundagai, Albury and the local region. Young store cows sold at 175-198c/kg.


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