Weaner sales returned to the Armidale saleyards for the first time in two years with steers reaching 830 cents a kilogram as locals competed strongly for the 1800 head on offer.
COVID-19 and drought had meant the New England Livestock Agents combined weaner and breeder sale had been a missing fixture for some time but it made a healthy return on Thursday.
The laneways were bursting with buyers from as far as the Upper Hunter and into Queensland who paid to levels as competitive as other major selling centres on the yarding which featured a number of medium to heavy weight cattle that had all been pre-weighed.
Weaner steers under 200kg made from 674c/kg to 830c/kg with prices peaking for 137 kilogram black baldy calves from Tony Preen sold by Ray White.
Steers weighing 200kg to 280kg made from 520c/kg to 728c/kg while 280 to 330kg animals sold from 460c/kg to 5596c/kg and brought plenty of competition.
Those over 330kg made 434c/kg to 506c/kg.
"Feedlot competition was strong for the heavy weights and then local competition for your 250kg to 330kg calves," Ray White Guyra Armidale agent Sam Sewell said.
"There were grass operations going the pace on the heavy weight cattle as well and then the lightweights were very well supported by the local producers."
In the heifers, the market peaked at 650c/kg for Angus females weighing 164kg from Anthony and Kerry Bull, Byron, Tubbamurra, near Guyra but it wasn't unusual to see the better quality pens hitting the 600c/kg mark up to the 330kg weight range.
The lightweight category up to 200kg sold no lower than 620c/kg while those 200kg to 280kg made from 468c/kg to 646c/kg, 280 to 330kg fell between 430c/kg and 600c/kg and anything over 330kg made 430c/kg to 546c/kg.
Overall the average heifer weighed from 240kg to 280kg and made from $1400 to $1500, agents commented, while the majority of steers sat around the $1800 mark.
Ray White Guyra Armidale agent Sam Sewell said the weaner sale was a phenomenally good one to start back with.
"In comparison to what we are seeing and happening around the areas, it's as competitive as or, in some places, those lighter weight calves were better than, which is probably the stand out of today," he said.
"But also the consistency of that heavy weight calf showed how well it went."
A limited number of cows and calves sold from $3000 to $3650 each.
Read the full report in The Land next week.