Looming abattoir closures for the Christmas holiday break combined, with high feedlot prices, contributed to the larger offering of 5,120 cattle at Wagga.
Despite a good body of feed across some parts of the Riverina, producers offloaded both prime finished and store conditioned cattle unwilling to take a punt on a long dry summer.
The vealer sale was erratic and prices were affected by as much as 6c/kg however, fresh calves did attract the better competition. European veal and their crosses made from 270-330c/kg.
There were plenty of store orders in place and northern restockers set the pace for the better quality lines. A pen of Angus steers weighing 230kg recorded the highest price of the day hitting 366.2c/kg. Steers 200-280kg regularly made from 310-358c/kg. Steers carrying more weight and frame were unchanged making from 308-350c/kg.
The trade cattle market opened cheaper, with very few steers selling to the trade, the better covered 400-500kg made from 262c -290c/kg to sell 5c cheaper
The trend was similar for the heifer portion where prices dropped 7c/kg; it followed in line of cheaper trends at other selling centres. The main lines of 400-500kg heifers made from 260-382c to average 270c/kg.
Prices for feeder steers also slipped due in part to rising numbers being offered at all prime sales and store markets. The slightly cheaper market encouraged increased feedlot competition from Queensland across the 400-500kg weight range, helping cement a floor in prices. This weight ranged firmed topping at 330.2c to average 318c/kg.
It was more of the same for feeder heifers due to stronger demand as the sale progressed. Prices were firm to 15c higher for the medium weight portion. Feeder heifer’s 400-500kg made from 255-305c to average 287c/kg.
Heavy grown steer and bullocks sold 5-10c/kg cheaper due in part to export and domestic processors winding down for their annual Christmas break. The better finished pens of heavy grown steers 500-600kg made from 262-288c, while bullocks averaged 280c/kg. The cheaper export market motivated feedlots from Queensland to purchase steers in this weight range. The general run of steers destined for feedlots made from 276-321c to average 301c/kg.
The cheaper trend continued in the cow market according to National Livestock Data, where heavy well finished cows shed 3-6c/kg to average 237c/kg. Leaner grade rates dipped up to 10c as a result of some processors leaving the cow market mid-way through the sale. Leaner grades made from 215c- 235c/kg. Light weight store type cows returning to the paddock ranged from 211-226c/kg.
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