JUST as the demand for young cattle has waned with the drier season, so too has the enthusiasm for breeding cows and heifers from restockers.
Scott Newberry, Davidson Cameron and Company, Tamworth, said buyers of cows and heifers were becoming more picky as the season slips.
"We've had a big bulk of feed up until recently and people were prepared to roll the dice and buy in-calf cows or heifers to take advantage of that, but now that the season has changed the buyer speculation has come back a bit," he said.
Mr Newberry said the demand for pregnancy-tested-in-calf females was limited, but there was still a premium for specific lines.
"For example, we had a run of EU black heifers at the Tamworth sale and two bidders that both wanted them to put back into breeding programs in the EU system," he said.
He said those females sold very well and reflected the spark that is still there in the restocker market for the right specifications.
Limited supplies of PTIC cows and heifers at Carcoar store sale last Friday also followed a similar pattern.
To attract spirited competition the pen had to offer a specific bloodline or other notable feature that picky restockers were chasing.
Craig Schubert, Schubert Boers Livestock and Property Agents, Albury, said the season was playing on people's minds, but generally in his region they were looking at a more "typical pattern".
"The cow and heifer market is certainly softening, but that's in line with the trend of the overall market," he said.
"It's most noticeable on the older PTIC cows or those with a calf which mostly have come back to a kill value."
Mr Schubert said demand for PTIC heifers was a little stronger as they were a more attractive proposition longer term.
"A heifer is easier to run than a cow, but there is still the price pressure there depending on which way the season goes," he said.
He said it was not unusual for the season to be drying out at this time of year, but producers would be looking for an autumn break to come through soon.