RECENT rain and a top quality yarding resulted in strong bidding at Armidale on Friday, with prices reaching $1130 a head for steers at the Ray White annual feature Angus and Angus-sired weaner and breeder sale.
The nearly 2200-head yarding of good quality weaners included about 1400 steers and 750 heifers, with cattle coming from Armidale, Walcha, Uralla, Guyra and the Mid North Coast
There was strong demand for the 1200 EU-accredited cattle, achieving the top price of 362c/kg for steers. The top heifers, also EU-accredited, reached 314c/kg.
Buyers came from the New England and North West as well as southern NSW and South East Queensland and paid up to 40c/kg more than at other weaner sales in the region.
Heavier steers went to backgrounding operations and lighter calves were sought after due to the limited number of weaners left on the market.
Among the large lines of cattle were 350 steers and heifers from Peter and Karen Reid, “Elswick”, Walcha, and 254 steers from David and Louise Carolan, “Lyndhurst”, Armidale.
Prior to the sale, heifers bred by the Reids were awarded the champion pen of heifers, and John Farrar, “Noolabi”, Uralla, had the champion pen of steers.
Lightweight steers sold extremely well, weighing from 180 kilograms to 245kg and selling from 330c/kg to 362c/kg.
Middleweight steers weighed between 250kg to 300kg and ranged from 320c/kg to 348c/kg and heavy steers weighed from 300kg to 360kg and made between 320c/kg to 338c/kg.
Lightweight heifers weighed from 180kg to 240kg and ranged from 275c/kg to 300c/kg, middleweight heifers weighing between 250kg and 280kg made between 295c/kg and 314c/kg, and heavy heifers weighed between 285kg and 330kg and sold from 274c/kg to 292c/kg.
The Reid family sold its entire drop of 350 eight- to 10-month-old Angus weaners, with the steers topping at 339c/kg and heifers making up to 309c/kg.
Mr Reid, a regular vendor at the Ray White sale, was happy he could hang onto his weaners and achieve the higher prices, despite recent rain coming too late to boost autumn growth.
His steers improved by 40c/kg on last year’s results, and heifers were up 50c/kg.
“Even though it’s been dry at Walcha we hung on to them to sell at this sale because I think it’s the best the weaner sale for black cattle in the region,” Mr Reid said.
“The market was strong right to the end, and in tough conditions for the area, but it was a very good quality yarding right through.
“Even the lighter cattle were extremely good, and there were big, consistent lines of cattle.
“It might be dry in the New England it doesn’t really affect this sale too much because the cattle go out of the area.”
Ray White agent Blake O’Reilly said recent rain lifted buyer confidence.
“It was exciting for the vendors to get rewarded for the quality of their calves.
“If this rain continues, the market will improve for good quality cattle and they’ll remain very strong, and the lesser quality cattle will be firm.
”We’re expecting another strong sale on the May 27 as long as we have good quality cattle.”