Waiting to lift the weight

There's dollars in putting on more weight

Plasto and Company, Wellington, sold this draft of 13 black steers for 413.2 cents a kilogram at the Dubbo sale last week.

Plasto and Company, Wellington, sold this draft of 13 black steers for 413.2 cents a kilogram at the Dubbo sale last week.


No matter which region cattle producers are in, putting weight on steers is the profitable way ahead.


HEAVIER cattle are still selling well in the south and the north, although beef producers may have missed the jump in the central west slopes region.

The Eastern Young Cattle Indicator was on 762 cent a kilogram (carcase weight) on Tuesday.

Nutrien's Wagga Wagga livestock manager, Peter Cabot said while grazing crops were well and truly locked up in the Riverina, there's so much paddock feed people have been in no hurry to sell.

"The cattle market is terrific and stock are putting on extraordinarily huge weight gains, some to 2kg a day," Mr Cabot said.

"So people are conscious that the market may come back, but they are also seeing the weight gains and in no rush to sell."

He said Wagga yards at this time of year usually sell 6000 to 7000 cattle, however, present sales were attracting the 2500 head mark.

"With most cattle this time of year selling at around 350kg to 450kg, people are electing to take them on to the next step," he said.

"So there's going to be a lot of heavy cattle coming, and all the cattle we are selling at the moment are nearly 500kg and that will continue."

Mr Cabot said saleyard prices had been stronger than the hook rate, and that's why he thought the yardings were higher. "I reckon those cattle are heading to saleyards instead of the hooks."

He said there were no light cattle available to buy in the Riverina as producers were utilising their feed.

The north west is a little similar as Tamworth's Garvin and Cousens agent, Phillip Hetherington, said cattle were still coming off crop.

"There are some cattle that are killing pretty well, but there are people who've taken a quick turnover and sold stock as feeders," Mr Hetherington said.

"Those who have sold and locked the paddock up got stock up to 400kg and sold them to feedlots.

"And while hook sales have been solid, vendors have been making goo money in the saleyards, up to 360c/kg live at Monday's Tamworth sale."

Mr Hetherington said he couldn't see the market easing very much with New England's season there will be stronger inquiry for more cattle in that region.

It is a different story in the Central West Slopes region where Plasto and Company's Ross Plasto, Wellington, said as people had locked-up their grazing crops, most cattle on crop would now be either sold or moved to other pasture to grow out.

"People who bought cattle pre-rain or soon after the February break would most likely have sold those by now," Mr Plasto said.

"However, those who bought between May and July may have missed the boat as market values had slipped.

"They may hold them until the same period next year to gain a respectable profit."


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