Cows lead prime cattle sale upsurge in state

'Everything dearer' as processors, feedlotters bid up for beef

Beef
Jim Hindmarsh and Co sold 15 Angus steers (310kg) on behalf of Tenandra Park Pastoral Company for 330.2c/kg ($1023 a head) at Yass last Thursday. Photo by Heidi Grange.

Jim Hindmarsh and Co sold 15 Angus steers (310kg) on behalf of Tenandra Park Pastoral Company for 330.2c/kg ($1023 a head) at Yass last Thursday. Photo by Heidi Grange.

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Strong start to year in prime cattle

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Results at Gunnedah's prime cattle sale on Tuesday only bolstered the good sentiment running through the market with everything dearer, and good demand for export-weight cows, weaner steers and yearling heifers.

Processors and feedlot buyers were back in the market big time at Wagga Wagga, and at Yass buyers came from western Victoria to mid-west Queensland to bid.

Fleming and Ross agent Tim Walsh, Gunnedah, said "everyone feels a lot more confident" on the back of recent rain and interest in many areas. "The whole market was dearer for everything and export-weight cows were a fair bit stronger," he said.

Splitter steer calves were also a surprise packet, with one 150kg calf going 362 cents a kilogram selling for $543. Another fantastic sale was a 635kg Brahman-cross steer sold at a Grafton prime sale on Tuesday for 332c/kg or $2150.

Gunnedah recorded 1700 cattle yarded on Tuesday, with lightweight steers experiencing significant price improvement. Medium and heavy weight yearling steers to feed recorded a dearer trend of 13c/kg to 15c/kg and there were strong gains for yearling heifers in all weight ranges. Heavy heifers were as much as 26c/kg dearer in places.

Wagga Wagga agents were also buoyed by the return of "normality" to the markets with all processors and feedlot buyers back on deck, although restockers were not as keen in the market as at northern sales.

The "lift" in sentiment was also noted by agent Isaac Hill of Wagga Regional Livestock, who said last week's sale with 4100 yarded recorded keen demand for cows. "The biggest uplift was with cows, and everything was firm to dearer especially for yearling and young cattle," he said. (Wagga Wagga didn't have a sale last Monday due to public holiday).

"A lot more active bidding, compared to what had been there previously. We saw the return of every processor and lot feeder. Looks like they are all eager to re-enter the auction system. There's certainly a lot of competition."

"We are seeing yardings we should for this time of the year of between 3500 to 4000, and supply is where we would want it to be". The cattle condition was good and "we are not seeing a lot of drought-affected cattle in Wagga."

Rick Maslin, manager at South Eastern Livestock Exchange (SELX), Yass, said cows did well at the prime cattle sale last Thursday, with 800 cows offered in a total yarding of 2440. "The trade run was quite exceptional, and lot feeders played very strong," he said. "Every cattle experienced significant rises. The level of sentiment with good prices is encouraging for farmers, giving them confidence to keep feeding."

Cows lifted 20c/kg to 25c/kg across the board with medium weight two-score cows from 205c/kg to 236c/kg. Heavy three- and four-score cows sold from 228c/kg to 262c/kg, averaging 254c/kg.

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