Trade cattle market bounces

Trade cattle prices rose in NSW, but across the Murray COVID-19 restrictions took their toll

Beef
Corcoran Parker agent Bo Helwig with a pen of feeder heifers which sold for 382c/kg at Wodonga. COVID-19 restrictions affected the Wodonga prime cattle market on Tuesday. Photo: NVLX

Corcoran Parker agent Bo Helwig with a pen of feeder heifers which sold for 382c/kg at Wodonga. COVID-19 restrictions affected the Wodonga prime cattle market on Tuesday. Photo: NVLX

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Wagga Wagga's yarding almost tripled.

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The feeder market bounced in parts of the state this week, while numbers almost tripled at some centres.

However, it was a different story across the border in Victoria, with COVID-19 restrictions impacting interstate feedlot demand.

Wagga Wagga's yarding rose to 3080 head on Monday, compared to the 1135 in the draft last week.

The National Livestock Reporting Service said strong feedlot demand for both secondary and finished yearling steers was a common trend at the sale.

"Steers suitable for domestic processors gained seven cents, averaging 404 cents a kilogram," NLRS said.

"Trade heifers benefited by steady demand from all domestic processor, prices ranged from 355c/kg to 396c/kg."

At Tamworth Elders agent Nathan McConnell said trade steers, 300kg to 400kg, were making up to 410c/kg, while heifers in the same weight category got over the 400c/kg mark.

"Feedlots have to push quite hard to get their supply at the moment," Mr McConnell said.

MLA reported buyers of medium and heavy feeder steers showed a preference for leaner pens, while those carrying extra condition were slightly discounted.

Numbers rose by 250 head to just under 1000 this week, but Mr McConnell said it would take four to five weeks before the crop cattle started rolling through the prime market.

"We've just started selling some at the moment and the majority would got straight into the feedlot," he said.

"But at our store sale on Friday we'll probably have around 3000 head, that's a big wedge of cattle that we probably haven't seen for a long time."

At the smaller centres such as Moss Vale, numbers remained consistent and Ben Hindmarsh of Jim Hindmarsh Livestock Agencies said the feeder steer prices had moved into positive territory, after some fluctuations in recent weeks.

"The better, light-weight Angus steers were making 385c/kg to 420c/kg," Mr Hindmarsh said.

"We're seeing restockers come in on the lighter end of feeder cattle, so its a little disjointed because it's not just genuine feedlot interest.

"There's certainly a base price there but the highs and lows are changing week to week."

Across the Murray at Wodonga impacts of COVID-19 restrictions were felt, with the feeder steer market dropping by 10c/kg to top at 395c/kg on Tuesday.

MLA reported feeder heifers sold to a small group of buyers from 350c/kg to 394c/kg.

Corcoran Parker livestock agent Bo Helwig said although the cents a kilogram came back this week, prices were still good and the weight gain seen so far this season was phenomenal.

"The number of feedlot buyers probably aren't as significant as earlier in the year," Mr Helwig said.

"Quite a lot of buyers that operate in our sale are from NSW and they haven't been here for the last couple of weeks because they physically can't get over the river due to border restrictions."

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