THE Easter holidays played havoc with trying to pick a trend in the prime cattle markets during the past week. There were no NSW sales reported by the National Livestock Reporting Service on Thursday, Friday or Monday.
The first opportunity we got to see if the supply and prices would hold up after the break was on Tuesday.
The yardings were back and market trends best described as mixed on Tuesday at all NSW NLRS reported centres.
Just 176 head were offered at Scone (there were 450 the week before) which was a direct result of the holidays.
NLRS reported there were some good lines of high yielding, younger cattle in prime condition, but only about 16 cows offered.
There were also some good vealer steers to suit the restocker orders.
Vealer steers tipping the scales at more than 200 kilogram and selling to restockers (C2) sold from 200 to 260 cents a kilogram. These were about 16c/kg cheaper than last week. The heavier C3 vealers to processors ranged from 298c/kg to 323c/kg.
There was limited vealer heifers and most of them sold from 220c/kg to 334c/kg. Lot feeders in the market for yearling steers paid about 20c/kg less than last week from 202c/kg to 220c/kg, while the yearling heifers ranged from 216c/kg to 220c/kg.
NLRS reported the high yielding prime conditioned younger cattle to the butchers remained firm to 10c/kg dearer, with prices making from 230c/kg to 334c/kg depending on the yield.
Most heavy cows sold from 162c/kg to 198c/kg.
In the north-west at Gunnedah supply dipped 380 head for a total yarding of 1000 on Tuesday.
All the regular processors were operating, however there was not a full line-up of regular lot feeder and restocker buyers.
NLRS said quality was mixed and tended towards the plainer end.
Only the better quality vealer steers to restock remained firm, while the plain quality and condition steers were cheaper. Most vealer steers sold from 162c/kg to 168c/kg. The bulk of the vealer heifers were less than 200kg and sold from 100c/kg to 190c/kg, while a heavy heifer topped at 260c/kg.
The plain quality nature of the yearling steers contributed to cheaper trends, while none of the regular feedlots operated, with restockers and opportunity feeders competing. NLRS said light lines to restockers sold from 190c/kg to 248c/kg, and heavier C3 pens to processors topped at 250c/kg.
Grown steers and heifers were few are far between and topped at 264c/kg.
The 400kg to 520kg D2 cows sold to processors for 122c/kg to 198c/kg, while D3 and D4 cows weighing more than 520kg topped at 244c/kg.
Closer to our city cousins at Camden, the cattle market was dearer by about 5c/kg to 12c/kg. All up there were 255 head offered.
Jim Hindmarsh and Company Camden branch manager Steve Nutt said vealers sold from 145c/kg to 420c/kg, while yearling steers ranged from 255c/kg to 360c/kg. Yearling heifers ranged from 230c/kg to 350c/kg and grown steers made 180c/kg to 226c/kg.
There were 1220 cattle yarded at Carcoar on Tuesday (back 1115 head) and the quality of the young cattle was good.
Weaner were dearer, with restockers paying from 240c/kg to 280c/kg for the steers and up to 210c/kg for heifers, NLRS reported.
Heavy butcher vealers made from 256c/kg to 279c/kg. Medium and heavy feeder steers made from 250c/kg to 318c/kg, while heifers sold from 230c/kg to 273c/kg.
Yearling steers, 280kg to 330kg, to the feedlots sold from 234c/kg to 312c/kg, while 330kg to 400kg made 250c/kg to 317c/kg.
The 400kg to 520kg D2 and D3 cows sold from 180c/kg to 210c/kg, while heavier D4s topped at 216c/kg.
Meanwhile, at Wodonga agents held one sale on Tuesday, instead of the normal Tuesday-Wednesday format. That was probably a good idea as just 370 head were offered which was back 210 cattle on the previous sale.
Well finished medium trade weight steers were in limited numbers, making from 272c/kg to 315c/kg NLRS reported. The better shaped heifers suitable for the trade sold 8c/kg dearer, making from 248c/kg to 275c/kg, while lighter weights sold to 289c/kg. Medium weight feeder steers sold from 227c/kg to 260c/kg to average 241c/kg.
At Singleton on Wednesday the market was cheaper for the 350 head offered. This was back about 860 head on the last sale.
It was the first sale at Singleton for a fortnight and the quality of the offering was fair to mixed.
The vealer steers to the restockers weighing more than 200kg eased 30c/kg, making from 180c/kg to 242c/kg. Those to the processors made a bit more topping at 266c/kg. One pen of heavy vealers (more than 330kg) sold for 294c/kg and were bought by a feedlot.
The same weight heifer portion also returning to the paddocks, declined by 12c/kg, and received from 138c/kg to 214c/kg, with the heavier drafts to the feeder orders making from 210c/kg to 212c/kg. Yearling steers were mainly crossbreds according to NLRS, with prices topping at 238c/kg.
Cows sold firm for the plainer end, with prices from 120c/kg to 172c/kg, depending on weight and cover. The better finished heavy weights eased 10c/kg, to make 175c/kg to 190c/kg.
Results from Casino's Wednesday sale were not available at time of print.