WITH the major processors working at reduced capacity this week and still plenty of feed in the paddock, many graziers have held onto their stock through the first prime sales of 2022.
"While ever the producer has grass we have options and controls," CL Squires and Company agent Will Claridge said.
And while the full implications of COVID-19 on the meat supply chain was a "wait and see," already the effects were being felt at the heavier end of the market.
Mr Claridge said the prime slaughter market had been softer at Inverell on Tuesday.
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"If you compare it to the last sale the export kill market may have been 20 to 30 cents a kilogram cheaper," he said.
"The feeder market was 20c/kg to 30c/kg dearer and the weaner job was firm to 10c/kg dearer.
"We had some 320 kilogram feeders returning 630c/kg and 640c/kg."
Nutrien Wagga Wagga agent Hamish McGeoch said buyers and processors were cautious on what they spent and how many cattle they secured if they couldn't kill them .
"Meanwhile lot feeders and restockers have been active on the lighter weights," he said.
"It's a different summer to any others that we have experienced in some time.
"We have received in excess of 120mm of rain in the past week. There is still plenty of grass around and people are keen to secure those lines of lighter weaners.
"A lot of the good feeder steers are still making mid-fives to six dollars depending on weight, for the better lines of the Angus calves."
Meanwhile in Tamworth, MLA market reporter James Armitage said there had been buyer resistance to the heavy weight feeder steers including milk-tooth lines on Monday.
The limited processor competition saw cows and bulls sell to cheaper trends with only two cow buyers operating on a small number.
Purtle Plevey Agencies' Patrick Purtle said all angles of the supply chain were facing pressure at the moment.
"But we are very lucky that we are positioned with such a strong cattle market, with so much confidence and with so much feed," he said.
"If we were in the position we faced a couple of years ago, with drought conditions, that would be more of a concern."
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