The benchmark indicator for young cattle prices has risen to a seven-month high on the back of spirited restocker competition across major eastern Australian markets.
The National Livestock Reporting Service’s Eastern Young Cattle Indicator closed at 408.50c/kg yesterday, its highest level since April 26.
Despite a significant increase in cattle yarded at Roma yesterday, where agents penned 4117 cattle, 1905 more than last week, strong bidding from restockers drove prices for young cattle higher.
50mm of rain fell during the sale, adding fuel to buyer competition for the available numbers. Restockers, with rain dripping from their hats according to the NLRS report, engaged in spirited bidding for young cattle, pushing lightweight yearling steer prices up by 3c/kg to average around 231.3c/kg.
The reinjection of restocker competition forced southern processor buyers to pay more for suitable vealer steers and vealer heifers, while lot feeders were also forced to battle to secure good lines.
Feeder steers in the 400-550kg range topping at 220c/kg and averaging 211c/kg (+5), while steers in the 350-400kg range reached 238c/kg and averaged 213c/kg (+8) and steers in the 280-350kg range reached 242c/kg and averaged 219c/kg (+5). Weaner steers in the 220-280kg range reached 246c/kg and averaged 226c/kg (+1), while weaners under 220kg topped at 258c/kg and averaged 237c/kg (+8).
At the heavier end of the market grown steers sold to processors for between 196 to 199c/kg, while grown heifers averaged 179c. Lighter weight cows returned to the paddock at a high of 145c and average of 142c/kg. Cows and calves sold to $1120 to average $866/unit.
Similarly at the Gunnedah prime sale yesterday, prices were also up despite a bigger yarding, with numbers rising by 1762 head to 2511 after water levels receded from last week’s levels.
Yearling steers to restockers and feeders were dearer through all weight classes “as confidence in the ability to finish cattle increases”, the NLRS reported.
Lightweight cattle to restockers gained 3c to 5c/kg and medium and heavy yearling steers to restocker and feeder buyers improved 6c to 15c/kg. Heavy trade steers were dearer by 12c/kg, while most classes of heifers were also dearer.
The market trend was also dearer at the Central Tablelands Livestock Exchange at Carcoar where agents yarded 2010 cattle yesterday, 145 more than last week. Quality was up and the yarding consisted of some good runs of younger steers suitable for lot feeder and restocker orders.
Light and medium weight yearling steers suitable for lot feeders and restockers gained 6-8c to sell from 218c to 248c.
Agents at the Northern Victoria Livestock Exchange at Wodonga penned 2700 cattle or prime and store cattle, an increase of 100 on last week, where heavier cattle dominated the yarding.
The NLRS said a full contingent of domestic and exporter buyers operated with strong local restocker competition evident on all lines of well-bred secondary steers and heifers.
Trade steers were 3c dearer, medium-weight trade heifers were 1c dearer, and feeder steers and heifers were 6-10c/kg dearer.
Quotes from MLA’s weekly Roma store sale press report:
The McLennan family, South Riverleigh, Charleville, sold Droughtmaster steers to 246c/kg for 251kg to make $618/head.
Golden Pastoral Holdings, Nullin, Yuleba, sold Angus steers to 242c for 333kg to return $808. They also sold Angus heifers to 228c for 296kg to make $676.
The Gallagher family, Junandah Downs, Mungallala, sold Droughtmaster-cross steers to 240c for 287kg to return $690. They also sold Droughtmaster-cross heifers to 230c and averaged 221c for 267kg to make $592.
The Bock family, Kilto, Wandoan, sold Charolais-cross steers to 238c for 357kg to return $852.
The McNulty family, Mostyn, Roma, sold Santa-cross steers to 220c for 407kg to make $897.
Vaughn Houlahan, Kilcummin, Dirranbandi, sold Charolais-cross steers to 220c and averaged 215c for 346kg to return $746.
Tim O’Brien, Tyrone, Roma, sold Shorthorn-cross steers to 219c for 442kg to return $969.
The Miller family, North Kooringa, Roma, sold Angus-cross steers to 218c for 448kg to make $978. They also sold Angus-cross heifers to 231c for 281kg to return $651.
The Groves family, Clifton Station, Quilpie, sold Shorthorn-cross steers to 216c for 168kg to make $346.
Ridgelands Grazing, Injune, sold Angus steers to 211c for 508kg to return $1072.
The Ball family, Pine Hill, Taroom, sold Droughtmaster-cross steers to 205c for 460kg to make $943.
Heifers in the 350-450kg range reached 209c and averaged 191c (+23).
Heifers in the 280-350kg range topped at 231c/kg and averaged 199c/kg (+12).
Heifers in the 220-280kg range topped at 234c/kg and averaged 220c/kg (+15), while heifers under 220kg topped at 234c/kg and averaged 212c/kg (+4).
The Bright family, Karoola Park, Roma, sold Angus-cross heifers to 226c for 291kg to make $659.
The Emery family, Mt Beverly, Wallumbilla, sold Angus heifers to 220c for 255kg to return $561.
Cluden Pastoral, Red Range, Taroom, sold Simmental heifers to 209c and averaged 196c for 407kg to make $799.
Cows over 500kg hit 179c and averaged 169c (+2), while cows 400-500kg topped at 178c and averaged 162c (+5). Cows in the 300-400kg range made 173c and averaged 140c (+10).