The Wagga prime cattle market gave the first indication of price trends for 2018 in New South Wales, and saw cattle prices lift over some categories in a yarding of just over 2300 head.
Stronger trends emerged at the sale with domestic processors keen to secure the better finished types. There was a lift of more than 5c/kg for vealers. The National Livestock Reporting Service (NLRS) said well finished European veal and their crosses regularly sold at 280-315c/kg.
A mixed selection of grass finished heifers gained 10c with domestic buyers influencing the dearer trends. The bulk of the trade heifers 400-500kg made from 245-280c to average 261c/kg.
Steers suitable for the trade were again in limited supply and sold to a mix of buying interest from processors and feedlots. Trade steers lifted 10c selling at 259-285c averaging 275c/kg.
The main drafts of medium weight feeders steers sold to strong feedlot competition which pushed rates slightly higher in places. The bulk of the better shaped well-bred steers sold from 290c-311c/kg. The lighter weight feed steers made from 295-327c/kg.
The best rate on a cents per kilogram basis paid for lighter weight heifers to feed on was 300c, while limited other sales ranged from 270-295c/kg.
With reports producers are finding it difficult to finish heavy steers and bullocks, processors were subdued with only one major processor operating. This saw prices firm to a few cents cheaper. Heavy grown steers and bullocks sold at 250-274c/kg.
Cow numbers fell to 330 with all weights and grades represented. Cow prices were mostly unchanged. The best rates are being paid for well shaped younger types. Heavy cows sold at 200-222c/kg. Leaner types sold from 180-217c/kg. Store cows sold from 185-217c/kg.