STRONG confidence in the cattle market pushed the price of weaners up another $100 a head at some sales in the past week.
Bowe and Lidbury agent Michael Easey, Maitland, said there was an excellent line-up of quality, well-bred weaners sold at the Maitland store sale on Saturday.
He said weaner steers were as much as $100 a head dearer and topped at $1500, spurred on by competition from a mix of repeat and new buyers from all over the Hunter, Central Coast and Tamworth district.
"The top weaners (in a pen of 40 head) were sold by B and M Duncan, Boambee Angus, Seaham, as part of a run of 120 vendor bred steers straight off their mothers with an average weight of 316kg," he said.
Store sale fundamentals remain very good, notes Colin Say and Company agent Shad Bailey, Glen Innes, after recording a yard average of 497 cents a kilogram (liveweight) during the Glen Innes weaner sale last Friday.
- Yass lighter steers make more than 570c/kg
- Maitland weaner steers sell to $1500
- No intention to cancel markets in NSW saleyards | Market Murmurs
"These are uncertain times, but we are at the top of the supply chain," he said.
"People still need to eat, business needs to continue.
"China's on the move again, we have a low Aussie dollar and there is high demand on our doorstep with the numbers of cattle at their lowest.
"All the fundamentals are there for a good market. We don't need to panic, just stay calm and vigilant."
Vendor bred weaners were also in demand at Tamworth during the 2020 Virbac Weaner Challenge and Feature Sale last Friday where weaner heifers topped the sale at $1520. The weaner steers, which would normally top the market, hit $1420.
Purtle Plevey agencies director Sam Plevey said the market held together very well and was a great opportunity for buyers.
"We saw some great prices in what has been a pretty tumultuous week, not only in the livestock markets, but in all the world happenings," Mr Plevey said.
"The lighter weight cattle still sold very well with some very high cents a kilogram prices if you work it out."
Meanwhile, weaners sold at the special Cooma sales last week will have plenty of traveling ahead of them as bids came from as far as Coonamble and Tamworth in the north to deep into Victoria.
MLP director Will Dixon, Cooma, quoted the sale as exceptional with some of the strongest demand he had seen for calves with quality.
Although the weaners were not weighed before the sale, it was estimated most cattle sold from 440c/kg to 520c/kg. Across the two days of sales at Cooma last week, the weaner steers topped at a healthy $1490 a head.
Elders Cooma manager Sam Green said the season affected the calves, but they all sold and the best demand was for the fresher heifers.
The Eastern Young Cattle Indicator had dipped another 30c/kg (carcase weight) during the past week to settle at 718c/kg on Tuesday.
While the prime market may be softening, prices are still nearly 250c/kg higher than this time last year.