FEEDER steers hit an extraordinary 555.2 cents a kilogram (liveweight) at Central Tablelands Livestock Exchange, Carcoar, on Tuesday, prompting claims of a national record price.
While unsure about whether the price was actually a record, Ray White Emms Mooney director Ben Emms, Blayney, said the prime cattle sale at Carcoar on Tuesday was unprecedented.
"Something I've never seen in my career was the dramatic spike in the market on the back of what were already very strong rates the week before," he said.
Mr Emms estimated the market for feeder steers lifted 35c/kg to 40c/kg and there were plenty of steers making over the 500c/kg mark.
- Carcoar store cattle sale dearer as weaners hit $2140
- June sale report | Carcoar steers surge to $2070
- Dubbo cows with young calves hit $3150
- Some NSW sale days open only to essential workers
"Last week those same type of top-of-the-market steers were making about 515c/kg and we thought that was great money," he said.
"Leading up to the sale [on Tuesday] there were significant rates being thrown about in the paddock and we were wondering if those prices would flow through to the saleyards.
"Well, we know now that they certainly did."
Mr Emms said the sale-topping steers, at 555.2c/kg, were bred by Nigel and Carol Kable from Yetholme.
"They have a cow and calf operation and I'd estimate they're running about 300-odd cows," he said.
The steers were in a run of 17 head which tipped the scales at an average of 494.1kg and returned $2743 a head.
After two weeks of much higher than expected prices, it's not clear just how much more buyers are prepared to pay.
"I don't know anybody with any great backlog of cattle being held back waiting for better prices, so I think the tighter supplies will be with us for some time," Mr Emms said.
Love agricultural news? Sign up for The Land's free daily newsletter.