Prime cattle scramble

Impacts of the big sell-off felt by the market

Beef
Hereford steers weighing 952kg sold for 320c/kg to make $3048 at Yass. Nick Harton, Jim Hindmarsh and Son said the market was very solid for this time of year. Photo: SELX

Hereford steers weighing 952kg sold for 320c/kg to make $3048 at Yass. Nick Harton, Jim Hindmarsh and Son said the market was very solid for this time of year. Photo: SELX

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The demand for prime cattle continues unabated as supply slows

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Prices rose across the board at saleyards in the last week, with both lighter articles and well-finished cattle in the spotlight as the impacts of the big sell-off continue to be felt by the market.

Nick Harton, Jim Hindmarsh and Son, Braidwood reported an exceptional prime market for Yass last Thursday.

"It was very solid for this time of the year," Mr Harton said.

"Both trade and domestic demand is still very strong and although numbers are about half of what we had coming through last year all cattle are obviously presenting in top order."

Mr Harton added that supply will be limited going forward simply because stock numbers across the board are not in the paddocks.

"The big sell-off due to drought is now affecting the market as processors and feedlotters scramble to fill orders."

At SELX Yass, Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) reported a small increase in numbers and the quality was very good with most of the cattle having plenty of condition and weight.

The market sold to a much stronger trend where weaner steers sold to 525c/kg and very light heifers reached 615c/kg.

Heavy trade steers and heifers sold from from 380c/kg to 430c/kg: grown steers were 8c dearer selling to 380c/kg and heavy heifers gained 10c/kg and made from 352c/kg to 380c/kg.

At Armidale last Thursday MLA reported an increased number of well finished heavy grown steers and heifers, however cow numbers were well down.

Market trends were dearer throughout, with P.R Watts and Co, Armidale director Steven Watts confirming well finished stock were attracting a lot of attention.

"The market was very strong with those in the 300-350kg range suitable for the domestic trade selling for very good money."

MLA reported medium weight feeder steers bought by restockers improving by as much as 25c/kg and strong gains on light weight yearling heifers to restockers, as much as 21c/kg and more for quality.

There was an improvement in quality and weight in the grown steers and demand increased with the market trend as much as 30c/kg dearer.

At Gunnedah on Tuesday Luke Scicluna, general manager Davidson Cameron and Co, noted an increase in supply as producers were taking the very good prices on offer.

"It was a very solid sale, with the best of our heavy steers, milk and two tooth making 418c/kg," he said.

"Angus feeder steers 390kg to 430kg sold up to 450c/kg depending on weight."

There was 2040 head yarded, up 640 on last week but the scarcity of good quality light weight cattle saw restocker competition very high for steer vealers, which were significantly dearer.

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