FEMALE cattle prices continue to climb as restockers hit the market in bigger numbers, particularly in the north of the state.
Santa Gertrudis/Herford cows with their first calf by an Angus, and recently running with a Palgrove Charolais bull, made the top money of $3100, at Casino special store sale last Friday.
They went back to the paddock at Rukenvale near Kyogle. Bred by John and Jim Smith, Woodenbong and Urbenville, they were purchased by European Union-accredited graziers Mike and Sharyn Benn, East Lynne at Dalveen, who first bid on them as weaner heifers two years ago.
The record prices at Casino last Friday continued with in calf Hereford heifers that sold for $2400 and were bought two years ago as weaners, 301kg, for $987 or 328c/kg.
Brahman/Hereford heifers, which are sought after for their milk and tick resistance in eastern fall forested country, made $2625, provided by feeder steer producer Paul Hewetson, Nyara, at Mallanganee.
Meanwhile, cows with calves topped at $2800 and heifers hit a high of $2150 at Grafton last Saturday.
In the south of the state cows with calves topped at $2020 at Yass last Friday, while a day earlier at Wodonga cows with calves hit $2625 and pregnancy-tested-in-calf heifers sold for $2140.
Cows sold over-the-hooks lifted another 10c/kg (cwt) this week according to Meat and Livestock Australia. Its report had many weights averaging well above the 500c/kg mark.
EYCI hits another record
Rain-induced restocking has pushed the cattle market to a record high this week with the Eastern Young Cattle Indicator (EYCI) hitting 737.5 cents a kilogram (carcase weight) on Tuesday.
The last time the EYCI was at record levels was in August 2016 when it hit 725.75c/kg.
Back then the price hike was attributed to widespread rain across the eastern states driving demand from restockers and lot feeders, combined with the national cattle herd sitting at a 20-year low.
Online cattle market hits uncharted highs
THE cattle market has gone from strength to strength in February on AuctionsPlus according to Tom Rookyard.
Prices along with the number of head offered have shot up to record levels, with a top of 668c/kg for light steer calves and a top of 686c/kg for heifer calves.
Mr Rookyard said during February AuctionsPlus offered 64,000 cattle including reoffers. There was a record of 23,677 head offered on February 28.
"Southern and Western Queensland, and the Riverina were the top listing regions, offering 7800, 6400 and 6000 head each," he said.
Feeder and backgrounder steers and unjoined heifers continue to be offered in droves which is meeting strong buyer demand with a 93 per cent clearance rate for the weaner and yearling sale, up 3pc on January.
He said there was 12,000 joined and PTIC heifers and cows with calves offered in February, with the eastern states sales achieving a 68pc clearance rate.
On the buying front the Northern Tablelands have been overtaken by southern Qld buyers as the "top dog".
"Southern Qld bought more than 11,000 steers and unjoined heifers for the month. Southern Qld feedlots have been dominant in the feeder stock purchasing, and proved that distance is no issue buying cattle from as far south as Port Fairy, Vic, Tocumwal, and Longwood, Vic," he said.
"Rain in northern NSW has spurred producers to look at restocking, buying more than 3100 joined females and cows with calves.
"PTIC heifers averaged $1758, up $240, and PTIC cows averaging $1711, up $154 on January.
"The North West Slopes and Plain topped the purchasing of light steer and heifer calves under 220kg; sourcing 2400 head for the month, but was closely followed by southern Qld."