MOST young steer and heifer categories fell in average c/kg price this week, as the largest online cattle offering seen in seven weeks was put before the market.
Some sharp falls were seen through the young heifer lines. The offering of 20,333 head was up 4pc on last week, and +20pc on the corresponding week last year. PTIC heifers and 200-280kg steers were the two largest categories, while cows with CAF remained scarce.
As further rain fall, albeit patchy, along with some cooler weather through southeastern Australia consolidated the autumn break, all eyes will be watching the deluge forecast for Queensland in the coming week. While late in the season, some recently damp parts of inland Queensland may be anxious if the heavy falls eventuate, while feedlots and processors will be watching supply routes and any potential logistics impediments.
The largest moves this week were through the young heifer lines, with the four lightest categories all taking a significant step back on previous weeks.
Assisting the decline was an overall jump in numbers offered, especially for the 280-330kg and 330-400kg lines, which increased by 72pc and 91pc on the previous week, respectively. A subdued 52pc clearance rate was registered for the 1661 head of 280-330kg heifers offered, which averaged 72c/kg ($199) lower on last week, at 616c.
From Hughenden, North Queensland, a line of 140 Brahman NSM future breeders aged 12-18 months averaging 297kg returned $1500/head, or 506c/kg to a buyer from Quilpie.
While registering stronger clearance rates at 73pc, both the 200-280kg and 330-400kg heifer lines also slipped, down 35c/kg ($121) and 17c/kg ($109) on last week, respectively. A thin offering of 364 400kg+ heifers, with a clearance rate of 86pc, declined only 5c on the week before, avoiding the larger falls in lighter offerings.
From Burrowye Victoria, a line of 38 Angus yearling heifers 18-20 months averaging 411kg returned $2610 or 634c/kg – destined for Yass NSW.
The majority of steer categories also lost ground this week. The sub-200kg category can be volatile each week, depending on breed and quality, with the category falling 115c/kg this week to average 647c/kg, while the 280-330kg category average dropped 54c/kg to 656c.
Demand for quality lighter lines continued to underpin the 200-280kg category, with the 2873 head selling to an 80pc clearance, averaging 22c/kg higher on last week, at 731c.
From Rolleston, Central Queensland, four lines of 360 EU accredited Santa backgrounder steers 5-8 months averaging 222kg returned $1830-$1,840/head, or 830c/kg. The same vendor also offered 220 heifers in two lines, 206kg,which returned $1800/head. All 580 head were purchased by the same buyer.
Feeder steers remained in steady demand, with this week’s larger offering of 714 head selling to a 72pc clearance, but falling 6c/kg in value, averaging 551c.
From Holbrook NSW, 56 Angus feeder steers 18-20 months averaging 474kg returned 631c/kg. The vendor offered a second line of 24 Angus feeders steers 488kg which returned $3000/head – both lots are destined for Gatton, Queensland.
PTIC heifer numbers remained relatively steady this week, at 2873 head, as the clearance rate dropped on last week, to 54pc. Overall, the online market for PTIC heifers averaged $2895/head, ranging from $1800-$3980. From Leongatha Victoria, a line of 30 Hereford PTIC heifers 25-27 months averaging 520kg returned $2800/head.
Except for PTIC cows, which averaged $34 lower on last week, at $3085/head, the offering of proven breeders was again very tight. From Bungunya Queensland, a line of 49 5–9-year-old Angus x Santa cows with CAF returned $3200/head. The cows averaged 538kg, while the CAF aged 1-6 months averaged 146kg.