RAIN in Queensland and northern NSW is helping to keep the southern NSW prime cattle market strong.
Director of Wagga Wagga Regional Livestock Isaac Hill said processors were having trouble getting cattle out of Queensland and the north of the state with heavy rainfall making many area inaccessible to trucks keeping the southern markets consistent in price and improving in some grades.
"We're noticing some of our heavier cattle here locally have improved on price because of the access to heavy cattle coming out of Queensland and northern NSW because of the wet and we're expecting that to continue for another week or two," he said.
Recent sales have featured mostly local cattle with the exception of those from the Monaro region.
Mr Hill said there had been enough cattle across all grades with prices consistent on this time last year and featuring good quality cattle.
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"It's very much comparative if not dearer than the same time last year. With the benefit of a good season the cattle are showing up very good quality and they're selling very well," he said.
"Last week trended back five or six cents a kilogram but the previous week was 10c higher so it's running on a fairly even keel," he said.
Monday's sale agents yarded significantly more cattle than there had been in recent weeks, with 3200 head yarded.
"The market was fully firm for all the export cattle and the feedlot cattle were in places a couple of cents dearer," he said.
There were about 700 cows penned which topped at 370c/kg and typically made 340c/kg to 360c/kg.
Abattoirs and feedlotters competed in the market pushing prices up for killable steers which sold in the range of 480c/kg to 510c/kg.
Feeder steers in the 500kg to 550kg range typically made 520 to 560c/kg for the better end of the black steers while lighter steers in the 400kg to 480kg range sold for 600c/kg to 630c/kg.
Heifers typically sold in the range of 440c/kg to 500c/kg while feeder heifers made 500c/kg to 556c/kg.
Weaners continued to stay strong making up to 700c/kg for 300kg steers.
Moving to the Moss Vale prime cattle sales the weather is having an effect but prices are still consistent.
With heavy rainfall hitting the south coast Ben Hindmarsh from Jim Hindmarsh and Son said overall the quality had been good but the extreme wet weather had made an impact on the cattle.
"Considering the season looks good the cattle aren't weighing quite as much as they would do at this time of year," he said.
"The best of them are still presenting well but a lot of the cattle have been standing in what you'd call soup now rather than mud and it's just taken the normal edge off the cattle in terms of how the presentation side goes."
Despite this Mr Hindmarsh said the market was staying strong with Victorian processors moving in.
"We do a different time of year calving - a lot of our calves are coming off cows at the moment which suits some of the Victorian processors we're seeing operating on the market at the moment and are coming that far north on a weekly basis," he said.
Mr Hindmarsh said this was keeping prices steady with the trade market going strong.
"Cows are fairly steady - in the mid $3 range for the top end of the cows and have been fairly steady at that for a couple of weeks now," he said.
"The trade cattle market is strong - selling around the $6 mark for the better end of the calves which is good."
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