SOARING cattle prices provide a strong incentive for graziers to sell, but many are finding the cost of buying in a heavy burden.
The Eastern Young Cattle Indicator smashed through the record books last week and continued that trend early this week to sit at 784 cents a kilogram (carcase weight).
A shortage of slaughter cattle plus follow-up rain are driving the higher price trend.
Eastern states cattle slaughter was about 30 per cent lower than a year ago for the week ending August 14, according to Meat and Livestock Australia's database.
It was also the lowest weekly winter total recorded since the week ending August 1, 2008.
However, not all selling centres are keeping pace with the EYCI's record run.
Young cattle prices were about 15c/kg behind the EYCI at Tamworth on Monday, while the Forbes sale was nearly 40c/kg cheaper.
In contrast, Wagga's sale on the same day was nearly 10c/kg above the EYCI.
It's certainly the yearling steer component of the EYCI that's driving the average higher.
This category on Monday averaged 792.5c/kg, whereas yearling heifers in similar supply averaged 746.75c/kg.
Gloucester steers sell to $1900 top
HEIFERS were $20 to $40 dearer at Gloucester's store cattle sale last Thursday.
Gooch Agencies reported 520 head were offered.
Weaner steers sold from $950 to $1325, while heifer weaners made $850 to $1175.
Yearling steers ranged from $1350 to $1575 and older steers sold from $1550 to $1900.
Cows with calves sold from $1700 to $2700.
Peter Johnson, Nabiac, sold Angus bullocks for $1900 to James Landers of Dungog.
The Edwards family of Stroud Road sold Angus weaner heifers for $1175 to Damien Scott, Gloucester.
Neville Harris of Bunyah sold Hereford weaner steers for $1100 to McCallum Inglis of Scone.
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