Grafton yarded 1501 head of store cattle on Thursday with prices for the better pens of British-bred up nearly 50 cents a head for steers, while slightly easier for heifers as buyers from the Northern Tablelands restocked paddocks yet to receive their first real frost.
Other cattle went to rain-quenched paddocks at Narrabri or into southern Queensland, where May rains have renewed producer confidence. The Gloucester district, took a few, as did a Hunter processor.
A few grown steers returned to the paddock locally with the intention of fattening for consignment.
Weaner steers comprised more than half the yarding at 820 head to average 666.7 cents a kilogram or $1633.31 (622.1c/kg or $1601.20 last month) and they reached a top bid of 908.2c/kg and $2561.99 (898.2c/kg and 2501.25 in April).
Angus weaners steers, 215kg a head, from Paul Schofield, Seelands, made 856.2c/kg or $1844.40, heading to Glencoe for backgrounding.
Grafton saleyard vendor of the week Margaret Beckett, central Bucca, sold 52 head of Angus cross weaners with the highlight being 20 Ultrablack steers with Palgrove blood, 229kg, which made 752.2c/kg or $1722.54.
Angus steers from BL and JL Gill, Kangaroo Creek, 222kg, made 864.2c/kg or $1918, going to a backgrounder at Ebor.
Heifer Station sold Charolais cross steers from Brahman/Hereford first cross cows, 237.8kg for 758.2c/kg or $1803.09. Their light Angus steers, from similarly-bred mothers, sold to 798.2c/kg for 176.7kg or $1396.02, going onto winter crop at Narrabri.
Charolais steers from Brushgrove Island, 169.3kg, made 835.2c/kg or $1413.87 for Narelle Whitehall, going to the Gloucester district through Gooch agencies.
Heifers at Thursday's sale numbered 605 head, to average 616.4c/kg or $1380.30 (627.4c/kg or $1411.97 in April) to reach a top of 840.2c/kg and 2001.62 (850.2c/kg and 2200.88 in April).
Angus weaner heifers from Doug Rhodes, Ulong, 186kg made 720.2c/kg or $1341.37
Charolais over first cross heifers, with Wakefield blood, 177kg, from Micah and Tania Middelbosch, Redbank Nymboida, made 750c/kg or $1331 going to Dubbo.
"This won't be the last of the weaner cattle," said auctioneer and agent Mitch Donovan, Donovan Property and Livestock. The weather will force more cattle into the yards. I'd predict we will have six more weeks of weaners and they will be lighter as we go."
Cows with calves sold liveweight, 64 head, averaged $2467 and topped at $3240 for Santa Gertrudis PTIC on their second calf for Palmers Island producers JC Dampney and LD Saggers.
Cows sold cents per per kilogram averaged 332.1c/kg or $1360.61 (316.7c/kg or $1328.63 in April).
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