RECENT rain in the Central West spurred buyer confidence at the C.L Squires and Company Top of the Drop weaner sale at Inverell last Thursday.
The yarding of 2175 good quality weaners included 1263 steers and 912 heifers, with cattle coming from Inverell, Bundarra, Ashford, Glen Innes and as far north as Cunnamulla in Queensland.
Overall, the steers averaged 332 cents a kilogram and $860 a head and topped at 342c/kg and $1186.
Lighter steers, weighing up to 200kg made between 310c/kg and 342c/kg, averaging 317c/kg.
Steers weighing between 200kg and 300kg sold for an average of 328c/kg and a top of 342c/kg.
The heavier end of the steers, weighing between 300kg and 400kg, ranged from 312c/kg to 337c/kg or $984 to the sale top of $1186.
Overall, heifers sold for an average of 285c/kg and $683, topping at 298c/kg and $944.
The lighter end of the heifers, weighing up to 200kg, sold from 252c/kg to 287c/kg, averaging 272c/kg.
Heifers weighing between 200kg and 300kg sold from 260c/kg to 299c/kg, averaging $712.
The heavy heifers, weighing from 300kg to 400kg sold from 284c/kg to 293c/kg, topping at $944.
Clerkness Pastoral Company, Bundarra, sold a large line of predominately Simmental-cross weaner heifers and steers, topping at $1030 for steers.
The Simpson family, Edendale Company, Inverell, also had a good sale, selling about 250 Angus and Angus-cross steers and heifers to top at $950.
Andrew Brownlie, “Matoni”, Bundurra, sold 34 Angus weaner steers, with a pen of 18 steers topping at $979.
Mr Brownlie’s other 16 Angus steers made $956.
With winter setting in, Mr Brownlie said he was selling weaners to decrease his stock numbers due to a predicted dry season.
With recent rain around, Mr Brownlie said the market was 10c/kg to 15c/kg better than he expected.
C.L Squires agent, Robbie Bloch, Inverell, said the market was very strong, with a definite improvement in the market compared to recent sales in the district.
Rain in the Central West was a big help to the market, with many buyers from that region and the Riverina.
“Steers were about 10c/kg to 15c/kg dearer than a fortnight ago,” Mr Bloch said.
Over recent weeks, lotfeeders had been giving the market strength, but restockers and backgrounders were outbidding them last week, Mr Bloch said.
While prices had improved at the sale, Mr Bloch said the calves were lighter than previous sales but the condition was good and quality was high.
“Steers were about 20kg lighter and heifers were about 30kg lighter, but it was an impressive yarding of cattle,” he said.
Mr Bloch said he expected the market to increase going to winter.
“Even without this rain we were going to see a shortage in numbers of restocker cattle, so I think there’ll be strong demand for store cattle as supply becomes an issue.”