Heavy rain across a large swathe of Queensland and NSW had an immediate effect on prices at Wagga. Reduced numbers helped fuel another rates rise, with secondary cattle stealing the limelight in a smaller offering of only 2,765 cattle.
A highlight of the sale was weaner steers 200-280kg which reached a high of 357c/kg. The surge in prices for secondary cattle meant store steers rates jumped 12c to the previous market, to average 344.6c/kg or the equivalent of $868. Heifers returning to the paddock attracted a large contingent of store buyers to record a top of 330c, while other sales for well-bred heifers fetched from 305-313c/kg.
Wet weather and the tighter supplies drove feeder steer prices in all weight ranges, with northern feedlots dominating the market. Stronger demand for feeder steers 330-400kg saw rates lift 8c to average 331c/kg. Medium weight feeder steers sold 10 dearer regularly making from 300-336c/kg.
Meanwhile the feeder heifer market bounced, with major feedlot orders lifting rates 10c/kg. As the market progressed heifer prices continued to firm reaching a top of 318c to average 312c/kg. Medium weight secondary heifers were in short supply and the better quality heifers gained 10-12c selling at 300-317c/kg.
Robust demand from feedlots kept domestic processors mostly on the sidelines with very few steers selling to the trade. Trade steers 400-500kg was unchanged selling from 312-339c/kg. Trade heifer lacked the quality of the previous sale with very few grain fed. The better finished trade heifers sold 5c cheaper making from 282-324c/kg.
Grown steers and bullocks were in reasonable numbers and quality was quite mixed due to the lack of grain fed stock. Buyers paid up to 324c for young Angus steers 500-600kg which contributed to a dearer trend of 3c/kg. Competition between exporters was subdued at times and saw the bulk of the better quality bullocks making from 299-318c a cheaper trend of 5c/kg.
There were signs that export processors are prepared to push the market higher, due to diminishing cow numbers in northern markets. High yielding beef cows jumped 2-5c to average 240c/kg. Leaner cows were keenly sought by processors and restockers which resulted in rates increasing by 7c some sale more, most lines making from 192-337c/kg.