A HOT summer wind blew through the Wodonga saleyards early this week, taking with it the gloss from weaner cattle prices as the new year sales began.
The first sale for 2023 is viewed with great anticipation and this year Ray White Albury kicked off the four-day run of weaner sales with its Blue Ribbon Grown and Weaner Sale.
A significant drop in the Eastern Young Cattle Indicator in recent months meant it was unlikely prices for weaner steers on Tuesday would match last year's near 1000-cents-a-kilogram record breaking prices.
However, the market held up well and Ray White Albury agent Matt Spry said the results were pleasing.
"There was buyer interest from a wide area and plenty of cattle went as far north as Tamworth," Mr Spry said.
He said the quality of the cattle was good for the 1400 head offered.
"The lead weaner steers were making about the 480 cents a kilogram mark," he said.
Mr Spry estimated the top weaner steers weighing about 370 kilograms sold for around $1800 a head.
Meanwhile, the weaner steers weighing in the 300kg bracket returned $1700 to $1780.
He said the heavier, feeder type steers topped at about $2250 or 470c/kg.
Mr Spry said enquiries on the heifers were plentiful and the lead pen sold for about the $1850 mark.
Breaking down the sale via weight ranges, the weaner steers tipping the scales at less than 330kg mostly sold from $880 to $1650, while those from 330kg to 400kg ranged from $990 to $1880.
Steers from 400kg to 500kg attracted bids from $1500 to $2250 and averaged just below $2000.
Any steers weighing more than 500kg topped at $2250.
Across the weaner heifer pens, those weighing 200kg to 280kg sold from $840 to $1510 and averaged $1274, while those from 280kg to 330kg were knocked down for $1100 to $1520 and averaged $1389.
The 330kg to 400kg females ranged from $1330 to $1710 and a small number of pens above 400kg topped at $1850.
The top of the weaner steers at $1800 was a pen of 14 weaned Angus that tipped the scales at 367kg and were sold by R Pringle from Cooma. Another pen from R Pringle, weighing 396kg, also sold for $1800.
In addition, RG and KJ Bennett, Wataview, Tarrawingee, Victoria, sold a pen of 20 Angus steers with an average weight of 377kg for $1800. The Black Aqua- and Jade Park-blood pen was grass fed and Russia and Saudi eligible.
Just over the 400kg mark, a pen of Angus steers from Graneli Pty Ltd, Mannus, sold for $1800.
In the grown steer section, a pen of four Angus steers weighing 621kg from Ross Kemp, Derrinal, Vic, topped the market at $2370.
Kilmuir Agriculture, Eldorado, Vic, sold 552kg Te Mania- and Prime Angus-blood steers for $2250, while for the same money McPhee Properties also sold a pen of 481kg weaned Angus steers.
Graneli Pty Ltd sold the top pen of Angus heifers, which had an average weight of 400kg, for $1850, while they also sold 368kg Angus heifers for $1710.
Feltrim Pastoral Company, Jingellic, sold 377kg Russia and Saudi eligible heifers for $1620, while McPhee Properties Pty Ltd offered a pen of Charolais heifers, 318kg, for $1520.
The sale was conducted by Ray White Albury.
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