PRIME cattle prices were generally dearer in the past week.
Additional northern lot feeders operating in some centres and steady supply of decent quality cattle contributed to the market trend.
A fair quality yarding of 4120 head were offered (up 250 on last sale) at Dubbo last Thursday. A highlight were the big numbers of cows offered which reflected local graziers dipping into their core breeders to reduce stocking rates. The better three and four score cows sold from 150c/kg to 234c/kg and prime heavyweights averaged 211c/kg. The National Livestock Reporting Service said young cattle were about 8c/kg dearer. The vealer steers less than 200kg selling to restockers mostly made 204c/kg to 286c/kg (average 248c/kg), while those from 200kg to 280kg sold from 220c/kg to 295c/kg (average 267c/kg). Rostockers picked up most lighter yearling steers for 241c/kg to 296c/kg and the heavier pens more than 330kg sold from 240c/kg to 330c/kg and were bought by feedlots. Most of the grown steers and heifers tipped the scales at less than 540kg and lot feeders dominated the bidding. Grown steers topped at 307c/kg.
Quality was plainer at Forbes on Monday where 1721 head (down 137 on last sale) went under the hammer. The usual buyers were active and because a big chunk of the offering were yearlings the market was dearer. Lot feeders snatched most of the C2 yearling steers (330kg to 400kg) which sold for 235c/kg to 318c/kg (average 281c/kg). Processors, lot feeders and restockers were all active on rail for yearling heifers. Restockers bought 200kg to 280kg C2 yearling heifers for a top of 245c/kg and average 218c/kg, while processors took home the bulk of the 330kg to 400kg C3 lines for 200c/kg to 296c.kg. All but a few pens of cow were bought by processors and most tipped the scales at more than 520kg. The D2 and D3 cows sold for 170c/kg to 228c/kg. Mid weight 400kg to 520kg D2 cows sold for 146c/kg to 168c/kg.
The NLRS said it was a mostly good quality yarding of 2310 cattle at Carcoar on Tuesday (up 160 on last sale). All the regular buyers were at the sale. Vealer steers, 200kg to 280kg, to restockers sold from 230c/kg to 307c/kg and same description vealer heifers ranged from 185c/kg to 220c/kg. Lot feeders took most of the yearling steers - 330kg to 400kg C2s sold for 260c/kg to 333c/kg and those weighing more than 400kg ranged from 288c/kg to 336c/kg. Most of the yearling heifers were bought by feedlots for about 246c/kg to 282c/kg, while processors did pay to 324c/kg to heavy C3 females. A limited number of grown steers and heifers were offered, but processors did spend up to 309c/kg on quality C4 steers weighing 600kg to 750kg. Heavy D3 and D4 cows sold for 175c/kg to 238c/kg and were bought by processors.
There was a good selection of prime conditioned younger cattle suitable for the butchers at the Scone sale on Tuesday were 610 head were offered (up 196 on last sale). The market trend across the yarding was dearer. The over 200kg vealer steers to the restockers improved 16c/kg, making from 240c/kg to 290c/kg. The same weight heifers sold to restockers were 40c/kg dearer, making from 236c/kg to 270c/kg. Medium weight yearling steers bought by the lot feeders made 248c/kg to 320c/kg. The better finished medium weight cows made from 169c/kg to 192c/kg.
Quality was mixed for 950 head offered at Singleton on Wednesday which was up about 90 head on last week. Most of the vealers were suitable for the restockers - most midweight vealer steers sold from 216c/kg to 296c/kg, while most heifers ranged from 190c/kg to 258c/kg. The yearling steers remained close to firm, with those to the restockers and lot feeders making 242c/kg to 282c/kg. Cows were dearer and topped at 190c/kg.