Young cattle trend lower in 12,289 head online offering

Beef Central, 29/01/2023

A run of 76 8-14-month-old Droughtmaster backgrounder steers averaging 268kg from Condamine, Queensland returned 598c/kg or $1600. A further 57 similarly-aged backgrounders from the same vendor – Charbray types averaging 288kg and Hereford types averaging 238kg – bought as weaners – made 551c and 613c/kg respectively.

MOST young cattle categories trended lower in price in an offering of 12,289 head offering on Nutrien and Elders’ AuctionsPlus online marketing platform last week.

Listing numbers were up marginally on the previous week, but were 32pc lower than the same week in 2022. Clearance rates by the completion of Friday’s sales averaged 43pc, dipping slightly from the previous week.

A larger influx of cattle is expected to hit the market into February and March,, where prices will be tested as selective buying continues to drive price corrections.

Last week’s offering was dominated by PTIC heifers and heavy steers. Prices for both 330-400kg steer and heifer categories were steady and reflected the broader national market trend as the EYCI displayed relative price stability across the week.

Across the steer categories this week, the largest offering was for the 330-400kg lines, with the 1103 head offered selling to a 60pc clearance rate- averaging 459c/kg, up 10c on the previous week. A line of 70 Angus steers 10-11-months averaging 340kg from Ournie, NSW returned $1710/head.

Feeder steer demand dipped again this week with the 955 head offered across the 400kg+ category selling to a 22pc clearance. Ranging in value from 303c to 438c/kg the category averaged 399c/kg, down 33c on the previous week.

Met with cautious buying, coming days will see post sale negotiations play a role in securing sales for the heavier offering.

From New Norfolk, Tasmania 64 Angus steers 29-31 months averaging 592kg returned $2100.

In lighter steer categories, animals weighing between 200-280kg registered a 54c/kg contraction on last week, averaging 516c. Clearance for the category kicked higher this week to 86pc, but only 479 head were offered. A run of 76 8-14-month-old Droughtmaster steers averaging 268kg from Condamine, Queensland returned $1600.

Across the 280-330kg steer category the offering of 620 head was met with similar demand, reaching an 89pc clearance. Prices dropped 5c/kg on last week to average 485c. From Bethanga, Victoria, 8-11-month-old Angus steers 325kg returned $1580/head.

Heifer numbers registered a decline in listings last week, with offerings in the 200-280kg and 280-330kg categories declining by 14pc. Heifers 330-400kg registered the largest offering across the young females, with the 1017 head averaging 421c/kg, up 2c on the previous week.

Clearances for the category reached 52pc- rising from 27pc achieved at the conclusion of the previous week’s sale. From Woodhouse, Victoria, Charolais x Angus heifers 9-10 months averaging 348kg returned $1560/head.

Heavy heifers weighing more than 400kg attracted an offering of 470 head. Prices measured in c/kg terms averaged 365c/kg, back 35c/kg, but when measured in $/head terms, rose $41 to average $1746/head, due to variances in average weight, breed type on the previous week. The category returned a clearance of 37pc.

Heifers 200-280kg averaged 451c/kg or $1134 this week, as prices contracted by 75c/kg or $188 a head from the previous week. The offering of 656 head sold to a 48pc clearance – back from 77pc a week earlier. A line of 11-14-month-old Angus heifers 254kg from Texas, Queensland returned $1320.

Only 510 head were offered in the 280-330kg heifer category, which sold to a cheaper trend. Prices dipped back by 63c/kg or $229 to average 464c or $1408/head, as clearance rates reached 62pc.

From Molong, NSW 33 Angus heifers 7-9-months averaging 321kg returned $1630. Another large run of 102 Angus heifers 8-10-months averaging 294kg from Williamstown, SA returned $1460 and will travel to a buyer in NSW.

Breeding cattle

PTIC heifers accounted for 24pc of the total cattle offering this week, with 2903 head.

Selective buying remained a prominent trend across all breeder cattle categories, with PTIC heifers selling to a 22pc clearance. Prices for the category highlighted buyers searching for quality bred cattle as the average rose $316 on last week to $2672.

From Cooma, NSW two lines totaling 31 head of Angus heifers 27-29 months averaging 663kg returned $3360 and $3340/head to a buyer near Casino, NSW.

PTIC cows followed a similar trend as the offering of 1576 head kicked $292 higher to average $2483. Clearance rates reached 56pc – up from 48pc the previous week.

From Gowangardie, Victoria 22 Angus PTIC cows five years averaging 810kg returned $3640 and will travel to a buyer in Albury, NSW.

A line of 20-22-month-old station mated Angus heifers with calves at foot from Armidale, NSW returned $3300/head. Selling for $900 above reserve, the heifers averaged 447kg and will travel to a buyer in Goulburn, NSW.


Prices as at 2pm Friday, 27 January.


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