ONLINE buyers flexed their bidding muscles this week, with young cattle prices lifting higher across most categories, as the demand for cattle back into paddocks appears almost insatiable.
The trend was reflected in the Eastern Young Cattle Indicator, which soared to new record highs last Wednesday.
Offerings online jumped 17 percent this week, to 19,498 head, which impacted clearance rates across the heavier lines compared to previous week.
With an AuctionsPlus commercial listings record of 2396 head of 400kg+ steers offered for the week, the clearance rate slipped back to 84pc, compared to 86pc for 1638 head last week.
However the increased supply was matched with excellent buyer interest, with the average for the category jumping $88 or 20c/kg on last week, to $2459/head or 550c/kg lwt.
Significant sales in the category included 165 Angus yearling steers 406kg at 11-13 months from Scone in the Hunter Valley selling for around 637c/kg or $2580.
The surge in heavy steer numbers in recent weeks is expected to continue into November, with southern producers surely keen to cash-in steers that have only known lush and green paddocks.
Through the lighter steer categories, prices were higher across the board. Highlighting the desire to secure lighter lines, a clearance of 100pc was registered for the two lightest categories, with 2573 head of 200-280kg steers selling up 4c/kg to average 676c. Steers 280-330kg averaged 16c higher, at 642c, with the 1657 head selling to an 87pc clearance. The sharpest weekly rise was registered through the 330-400kg lines, kicking 49c higher to average 628c.
The four lightest young heifer categories increased in prices this week, with the 400kg+ category slipping 21c/kg lower on last week, to average 516c.
Like the steer portion, there was another big offering through the 200-280kg segment, with the 2326 head offered selling to a 93 clearance – averaging 26c higher on last week at 658c. A notable decline in the clearance rate for 330-400kg heifers was observed, slipping to only 61pc for the 1381 head offered – averaging 7c higher at 586c.
While the supply was higher through the weaner and yearling lines this week, it was another tight offering for the proven breeders, with the 1468 PTIC heifers selling to a 65 clearance. After last week’s decline, the PTIC heifer category regained all the lost ground and then some, with the average price for the week up $279 or 7c, to $2874/head (598c).
A line of 54 Angus PTIC heifers from Heywood Victoria aged 25-26 months averaging 495kg returned $3100/head. The heifers were joined to Barwidgee Angus Bulls and will travel to Dunedoo, NSW.
The available supply of cows was again very tight, with the weekly average for NSM cows with calves at foot finishing at $3512/unit, with a 65pc clearance for the 830 head offered. A line of Santa cross station-mated cows averaging 513kg at 2-5 years, with CAF, returned $3310/pair.
HAVE YOUR SAY