Yearling steers bought by feedlots and restockers have forced up the cattle market right across NSW this week.
The Eastern Young Cattle Indicator climbed to 510 cents a kilogram (carcase weight), while the NSW Feeder Steer Indicator surged 11c/kg (liveweight) to 309c/kg.
Yearling steers to restockers averaged 258c/kg across NSW, while buyers in southern markets had to fork out a bit more cash as the average in the south was closer to 290c/kg.
The cattle markets on Tuesday really gave the EYCI a burst of fuel, with some centres such as Carcoar recording a lift of more than 30c/kg (cwt) for EYCI-eligible cattle.
Southern markets continue to set the dearer price trends recording averages for yearling steers to all buyers well above central and northern centres.
Restocker yearling steers sold in northern NSW were about 40c/kg (lwt) cheaper than similar pens at southern sales. The southern sales averaged 289c/kg.
Meanwhile, the price gap across the regions narrows for yearlings sold to the processors. In the north the average for yearling steers to processors was 300c/kg, while in the south it's 318c/kg.
Wagga Regional Livestock director Isaac Hill, Wagga Wagga, said the better season in the south of the state was certainly helping drive prices.
"Our season is best described as fair to good and that's contributing to the better condition and numbers being offered, when compared to the north of the state," Mr Hill said.
He said the very poor season in some part of the north was limiting the condition of the young cattle being turned off this winter.
"We are still seeing good numbers of 350 kilogram solid conditioned cattle being offered at Wagga each week, while those types are in limited supply further north."
Mr Hill expected the market to stay strong as we head towards spring.
"There will be a lack of finished stock which will drive competition," he said.
At the same time, Mr Hill expected there would be a decent grain harvest which should help to pull grain prices down.
"This will help keep the feedlots operating at capacity and drive competition for the feeder type cattle, too," he said.