Market jitters have prompted graziers on the Central Tablelands who still have feed in their paddocks to sell young cattle now rather than risk a dry summer and further price falls in the store and prime markets.
A hefty yarding of 5136 head was offered during the October store cattle sale at Central Tablelands Livestock Exchange, Carcoar, on Friday.
Bowyer and Livermore director and auctioneer Nick Fogarty, Bathurst, said very few cattle were bought by locals during the sale.
"A lot of cattle will go south into Victoria, while there were orders from South Australia here, too," Mr Fogarty said.
He said quality cattle with the right breeding and bloodlines sold well in light of the current market.
"The price gap is getting wider and there's a much more noticeable premium for the top quality cattle when compared with the rest of the yarding," he said.
"The market trend for the heifers was also a touch better than the steers."
Meat and Livestock Australia reporter Graham Richard said some young cattle sold to a dearer rate, but overall the market was softer than the previous store sale.
"The cow and calf units went against the trend, selling to stronger rates," Mr Richard said.
Weaner steers weighing less than 200kg sold from $270 to $500, while those from 200kg to 280kg attracted bids from $370 to $640.
The 280kg to 330kg weaner steers sold from $500 to $790 and any heavier than 330kg ranged from $680 to $855.
Weaner heifers less than 200kg ranged from $230 to $385.
The 200kg to 280kg weaner heifers attracted bids from $260 to $495, while those heavier than 280kg sold from $308 to $660.
Yearling steers less than 330kg sold from $460 to $740 and those from 330kg to 400kg made $505 to $880.
Yearling steers weighing more than 400kg started at $850 and topped at $1010.
Light yearling heifers (below 330kg) sold from $475 to $600, while a good supply of 330kg to 400kg heifers ranged from $480 to $710.
The heavy yearling heifers ranged from $700 to $730.
There were only a few pens of pregnancy-tested-in-calf females yarded and they made $470 to $780.
The cow with calf market was stronger than expected in light of the bigger yarding.
Cows with young calves ranged from $500 to $1620, although most averaged above the $1000 mark.
The unjoined breeders with older calves sold from about $800 to $1425.
A single pen of PTIC Angus cows with calves topped the market at $1700.
The sale was conducted by Central Tablelands Livestock Agents Association.
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