A gale of cold, dry wind from the west didn’t help with confidence at the Tenterfield store sale on Friday where buyers played their own game with the 1700 head on offer and producers were forced to watch from the sidelines.
However prices for quality weaners were fully firm considering the season, with Angus steers to 305 cents a kilogram while the tail enders dragged the average down to 250c/kg at 260kg.
Angus Heifers topped at 239c/kg and averaged 219c/kg at 241kg.
Cattle were sold to local backgrounders, but only to those with a winter crop in the making while as many went to feed on the Darling Downs and most deeper into central Queensland, with Charleville, Taroom and Goondiwindi the main contenders.
Pete Lyons, Tramore Beef, Nobby on the Darling Downs, bought 44 heifers at 270kg which will go onto feed for the domestic market.
Stock also went west to Inverell and Narrabri, purchased by producers anxious to secure the last of this year’s weaned calves in the hopes that spring prices might be better than autumn.
Angus steers, 240kg, from Mike Colby, Billirimba on the Rocky River, east of Tenterfield, brought 305c/kg or $732 going to repeat buyer Brian Blaker, Bungulla, Tenterfield who showed greater bidding endurance than Glen Innes grass finisher Budge Friend. Together these two local buyers competed well with the commission buyers.
Gary and Nancy Pitkin, Scrub Road Tenterfield, sold Angus over Brahman/Hereford steers, 308kg at 270c/kg to bring $840 while their straight Angus steers, 250kg, brought 240c/kg or $600.
“In a normal year when the Victorian and western buyers are here we would get more money for our straight blacks going onto crop,” said Mr Pitkin. “This year, with Queensland buying, it is the opposite and our Brangus infused cattle are getting more.”
The family’s straight Angus heifers, 239kg, topped that division of the sale 260c/kg going back to the paddock at Guyra, most likely as breeders.
Peter and Cathy Potter, Blackswamp Road, east Tenterfield, sold Angus steers, 256kg at 260c/kg to bring $667, some going to Goondiwindi, and they sold heifers, 256kg at 232c.kg to make $594.
“The sale was as good as can be expected,” he said. “It’s been a rugged season in places. It didn’t help that the locals didn’t have any feed and that we had to rely on Queensland. In a normal year we could expect Victorian buyers to be at this sale.”
David Sweeney, Billirimba Road, sold Devon cross heifers, 245kg at 217c/kg making $532 and said he was accepting of their price considering the season. “As breeders we are more fortunate,” he said. “We only have to buy our bulls.”
Those who purchased steers 12 months ago above 400c/kg and decided to hold onto them through the early months of this year are kicking themselves for a lack of foresight and those who no longer had feed were frustrated by the lost opportunity to take a punt on bargain prices.
One who was able to take advantage of the situation was a buyer from Beaudesert with grass to burn who picked up bright eyed light Angus steers for 145c/kg along with Angus cows in calf to Limousin and Angus for $760.
Best Angus cows with Angus calves sold to $1000. Droughtmaster cows with Angus calves sold to $800.
The sale was conducted by Harold Curry with Alford and Duff agents, Tenterfield.