Limited numbers are coming through at the heavier weights and it is predicted the trend will continue for at least the next six months
There was a dearer trend for steers driven by feedlot interest across the state, although trade cattle were in limited numbers with most supplementary fed or finished on crop. With not a lot of cattle weighing more than 400 kilograms offered, it is a situation of weak supply and strong demand which is driving prices higher.
Butt Livestock and Property director Phil Butt, Yass, noted during the past 10 days the market had improved for the better killable livestock.
"The feeder rate has improved due to supply and demand and there is not a lot of young stock around which have reached feeder weights," he said.
Meat and Livestock Australia NSW indicators show a definite discrepancy between northern and southern selling centres with processor yearling steers in the north quoted at 291 cents a kilogram, in the south 305.4c/kg, in the central west 264.9c/kg and in the Hunter 284.6c/kg.
Bowe and Lidbury livestock agent Rodney McDonald, Maitland, said the market was about to get dearer and during the past two weeks it had really lifted as supply of finished stock was starting to slow.
"I don't think there will be many around and the prices will get a bit stronger," he said. "We will only be getting stock finished on the river flats." Mr McDonald said producers who usually had cattle on feed were not feeding, so vealers were not going to be available. The cost of feed was precluding that option, he said.
NSW indicator values for heavy steers in the south were on 311.2c/kg, compared with central west values at 297.2c/kg.
Landmark Wagga Wagga livestock manager Peter Cabot said there were few cattle offered over 400kg.
"There is definitely limited numbers for good trade cattle and they are becoming hard to find," Mr Cabot said.
"It has got a lot dearer over the past three weeks and there aren't a lot of cattle with any weight."
AgStock Yass agent Sam Hunter said processors were chasing the heavier cattle which had lifted prices for the 360kg plus weights. "Limited numbers are coming through at the heavier weights and it is predicted the trend will continue for at least the next six months," he said.