A SMALL yarding of 511 head greeted buyers at the Inverell store cattle sale on Thursday.
Feedlotters made up most of the buying contingent while some restockers cast their eye over the 130 300- to 400-kilogram heifers, which was the most well represented category at the sale.
Prices for the heavier heifers ranged from 412c/kg to 492c/kg and averaged 479c/kg.
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Despite having the most numbers at the sale, the category did not top the market.
That milestone went to a run of 14 crossbred cows with calves from Western Logistics and Water P/L, which were purchased for $2610 a head by Nutrien Glen Innes.
Overall, the 55 cows and calves auctioned averaged $2455/hd, which Elders stock agent Justin Oakenfull, Inverell, said was consistent with where the market had been in recent weeks.
"The cow and calf market, as well as the PTIC market, is probably about where it has been for the past few weeks," Mr Oakenfull said.
"I think it is fair to say today's [Thursday] cow and calf market was very strong and those kinds of quality cattle are in high demand.
"It comes down to quality and we had a pretty handy run of heifers here today that made good money and as long as they are good quality they will always sell well in the current market."
Demand for yearling steers was also high, as the 97 on offer between 300kg and 400kg went for as little as 420c/kg and 518c/kg to average 489c/kg.
The pen of 16 top-selling Angus steers were on the lighter end of the category, averaging 324kg and were sold by CL Squires and Co, Inverell, on behalf of Clerkness Pastoral Company, Bundurra.
"It wasn't a massive yarding by any means but there is plenty of feed about and the heifer and steer market was very strong," Mr Oakenfull said.
"Inverell has got one of the best feedlot markets around because there are so many facilities central to it, but I think everyone is chasing cattle so it made it as strong as anywhere."
In other categories, a run of 10 crossbred steers averaging 196kg fetched 564c/kg and were the only steers at the sale in the under 200kg category, while a run of 10 crossbred heifers, averaging 187kg, were the only ones in that category and went for 563c/kg
The 25 steers on offer weighing between 200kg and 300kg averaged 497c/kg, while the 99 heifers in the same category averaged 453c/kg.
Mr Oakenfull predicted prices would remain strong throughout the coming weeks.
"It's a crystal ball question where the peak will be, if you knew the answer you'd either make a million or lose a million," he said.
"You just never know, but while there is plenty of feed around I think it will stay pretty strong."
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