BARELY 800 head made the yards at Dubbo store sale on Friday in contrast with a huge yarding of 8000-plus head at the prime sale the day before.
A pen of Angus steers in the 280 to 330 kilogram range topped at $740 on Friday.
John Hyland, Peter Milling and Company, Dubbo, said vendors were choosing the fat market at the moment because there was more competition from buyers.
Friday’s store sale was an offering of anything with four legs, from poddy calves to weaners and cows with calves.
Some of the prices had the small turnout of buyers and sellers shaking their heads, with one farmer offering a catcall of “these are drought prices” at the finalisation of one pen.
A typical drought yarding with the bulk of the steer and heifer weaners presenting in very plain condition.
Some vendors pulled their cattle as agents progressed through the offering.
Meat and Livestock Australia described it as “a typical drought yarding with the bulk of the steer and heifer weaners presenting in very plain condition, with only odd pens of cattle in good condition throughout”.
There were only a few pens of cows and calves and PTIC cows along with about 8 pens of dry cows.
The market was tough in all sections.
Steer weaners were as much as $80 cheaper, selling from $160 for very light calves to $740 a head for Angus steers in fresh condition.
Steer weaners averaged $400 a head, or 208c/kg.
The heifer weaners were also considerably cheaper selling from $130 for very light calves to $600 a head for good quality Angus heifers in good condition. The heifer weaners averaged just $263/head.
A couple of pens of heifer yearlings in plain condition sold for $350 and $380 a head. The cows, and cows and calves, were also considerably cheaper though the quality was pretty plain.
Cows and calves sold from $385 for a Brahman cow and calf in very plain condition to $760 a unit for Angus and Charolais cows and calves.
Pregnancy tested in calf cows sold from $210 to $560, while dry cows sold from $300 to $710 a head.
Buyer Todd Smith, “Heatherbrae”, Geurie, said he hadn’t intended to buy anything at all, but the prices had him bidding.
He said he was looking for anything he could get some value from.
He bought a total of 39 head, five Limousins, three Charolaid cows and calves and the balance Angus cross steers.
Mr Smith said he had a little bit of feed “but most of it’s in the shed”.
Commenting on the harsh conditions of the season he said it was tough, “but you’ve got to grin and bear it really”.