AFTER a fortnight of patchy rain across the state and the forecast of more to come, it's little surprise the market for weaner steers and heifers was dearer last week.
What did surprise vendors was the extent of that price rise at the Central Tablelands Livestock Exchange, Carcoar, annual weaner sale last Friday.
Some vendors said the market was $200 to $300 a head dearer than they expected for their cattle.
None of the weaner steers sold below the 330 cents a kilogram mark and there were plenty of pens selling above 450c/kg.
Some outstanding pens of Angus weaner steers even climbed above 500c/kg as restockers battled it out to fill rain-renewed pasture paddocks with stock.
All up about 7374 head were offered to buyers from as far as Leongatha in Victoria in the south to northern districts such as the New England, Northern Tablelands and North West.
Regular buyers from centres such as Wodonga, Dubbo, Parkes and Forbes were also active.
Breaking down the results, most weaner steers tipping the scales at less than 200kg sold from $600 to $1055 a head and in cents a kilogram (liveweight) that worked out at between 360c/kg and 528c/kg.
The 200kg to 280kg weaner steers sold from $760 to $1200 with the bulk of that weight range coming in at 373c/kg to 512c/kg and averaging 452c/kg.
Weaner steers heavier than 280kg ranged from $1090 to $1305 and most averaged just under the 400c/kg mark. The top pen at $1305 was sold by RN and CMC Walkom, Blayney, for steers averaging 351kg.
The weaner heifers also sold exceptionally well as some buyers looked to these lines to grow out and use as replacement breeders.
Some buyers who had travelled from further north specifically to buy heifers were re-adjusting their budgets just to claim a spot on the buyers rail.
The light weaner heifers at less than 200kg sold from $420 to $850 with many selling above 400c/kg.
Most of the 200kg to 280kg weaner heifers sold for $695 to $1080 and averaged 414c/kg.
All but one pen of 280kg to 330kg weaner heifers sold for more than $1000 a head. The top pen in this weight range sold for $1070 and most averaged 356c/kg.
A few pen of yearling steers and heifers sold from $960 to $1375/head.
James Carr, Funny Hill, Binda, sold his regular line of Cluden Newry-, Landfall- and Funny Hill-blood Angus weaner steers and heifers. One of his pens was judged best presented and sold for $1195/head, while another pen of 259kg weaner steers sold for $1200/head.
The best presented pen of heifers went to Duncan Clowes, Valdemar, Millthorpe, for 28 Angus with an average weight of 221kg which sold for $1000 a head. His agent Scott Johnston, PR Masters Stephens and Company, said this was the second time in the past three years Mr Clowes had picked up the award.