Wagga Wagga kicked off the week's round of prime markets on Monday with 2600 yarded - a similar number to this time last year but significantly down on numbers compared to three years ago, reported director of Wagga Regional Livestock Isaac Hill.
Bids remained firm for black feeder steers and a bit dearer for the coloured pens of Hereford, Shorthorn and Murray Grey.
A feature pen of 26 black baldy steers bred on the Monaro from quiet genetics and purchased by Don Woodford, Bungendore, weighed 521 kilograms on grass to make 542 cents a kilogram or $2827 to be finished on feed
"Usually feeder grade cattle are capped at 500kg but there is an exception for some quality calves which typically sell as high as 530c/kg," said Mr Hill. "Above that weight vendors enter the slaughter market and there is a price pull-back."
Cows this week at Wagga were easier by 10c/kg to 15c/kg but heifers of joining weight sold to a dearer trend, with restockers remaining very active.
A change in the seasons might be behind the softer trend in light feeder cattle below 340kg with those cattle taking a 15c/kg to 20c/kg dip in prices.
"We are transitioning from summer feed to winter feed and while that is coming in most cases it is not being grazed yet," said Mr Hill.
"In the short term producers might be considering a lack of feed but the outlook is good right through winter. Early canola is being grazed now in places and cereals in the next two weeks. The season is shaping up again as one with a full moisture profile."
As to mid-winter prices Mr Hill wouldn't be drawn, except to say that if supply and demand issues are the only pricing factors then bids won't change but increasing input costs could cause an upset.
Meanwhile at Yass on Thursday there was an increased yarding of 997 comprising few weaners selling from 640c/kg to 720c/kg for the steers and 460c/kg to 650c/kg for the heifers.
Yearlings to feed dominated the prime sale and prices eased 20c/kg with medium weights selling from 460c/kg to 600c/kg and heavy weights from 420c/kg to 560c/kg. Heifers sold to the feedlots were firm and ranged from 470c/kg to 541c/kg for the medium and heavy weights. Trade cattle were limited and the best were medium weight heifers reaching 543c/kg.
The few grown steers sold between 445c/kg and 462c/kg and heavy grown heifers to the processors were easier by 10c/kg, ranging from 341c/kg to 450c/kg. Heavy cows had the biggest falls of the day dropping 25c/kg to 30c/kg and sold from 300c/kg to 349c/kg.
Restockers kept the lighter cows up only falling 5c/kg to make 280c/kg to 364c/kg.
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