Prime cattle sold mainly firm this week, with sustained, excellent returns on weaners to keen restockers with demand for even the lightest calves at Tamworth pushing prices to 578 cents a kilogram.
Cows returned to good money after a recent pause. On the export side of the story sales are softer and prices reflected that for older steers.
Yardings state wide have been thin of late but this week many places doubled numbers, albeit low. Wodonga, Vic, for instance offered 520 head. Trade heifer were keenly sought resulting in prices increase of 9c/kg, making from 310c to 379c/kg. Feeder steers were unchanged: 315-380c/kg.
Nutrien agent Peter Cabot, said Tuesday's sale recorded strong bids for weaners, 380-394c/kg and breeders, 310-379c/kg, along with light cows while feeder type steers and prime fat cattle were lagging behind. "It's harder to get rid of cattle in the export market," he said.
Riverina paddocks remain a long way back in spite of last week's rain but further north the season looks beautiful - particularly the Coonamble district, reports agent David Thompson - where demand from a big paddock continues to draw truckloads of weaners, cows with calves and heifers over 340kg.
Gunnedah yarding jumped by a third to 590 head on Tuesday which marked the first week in a month with no rain. Yearling steers 330-440kg averaged 391c/kg or $1417and topped at 421c/kg and 1474. Yearling heifers above 400kg dominated the female line, with 179 head making from $762 to $1814.
At Inverell on Tuesday, a yarding of 300 head traded to local buyers, with a 150km radius, where winter feed looks likely. Steers 300 to 400kg averaged more than 370c/kg and topped at 412c/kg.
Heifers in the same weight range averaged 294c/kg and topped at 360c/kg while heavier females went to 364c/kg. Heavy cows averaged 237c/kg and reached a peak of 245c/kg.
Numbers at Tamworth doubled to 1044 with high demand from restockers for light weight steers with a run of weaners 200 to 280kg averaging 460c/kg or $1128, peaking at $1226. The very light weights , to 200kg improved from last week by 54c/kg reaching a top of 578c/kg.
At Carcoar on Tuesday, 357 cows dominated the yarding of 833 head with a pen of 20 Angus cross cows, 505kg, fetching the top price of 310c/kg or $1567. The average cow sold for 286c/kg.
Agent Ben Emms said the top pen of weaner steers made 505c/kg, while average types made 451c/kg, The average weaner heifer sold for 433c/kg, while the top run hit 495c/kg.
Stuart Shelldrake at Scone reported an easing after last week's remarkable sale, with cows around 262c/kg up to 274c/kg. Black weaners, 250kg, to 488c/kg.
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