Excellent rainfall in central and western Queensland and New South Wales over the previous week helped rekindle buyer competition in Friday’s online cattle trade, particularly for quality lines in northern New South Wales.
Commercial cattle bids reached 19,463 head for the week, a marginal increase from the previous week, as clearance rates rose in most categories.
With over 6,000 head on offer in the 200-280kg and 280-330kg steer ranges, up 20% from the previous week, competition was fierce, with pre-auction catalog views indicating a bid robust. While clearance rates for both grades have been on the rise in recent weeks, with 200-280kg steers at 70pc and 280-330kg steers at 78pc, prices have diverged.
The 3,279 steers offered in the 200-280kg category cost an average of $43 or 46c/kg less last week, at 1,785/$709c, while the 280-330kg steers cost an average of $125 or 41c/kg moreover, at $2163.
From Hungerford in western Queensland, a line of 208 EU accredited Shorthorn steers aged 7-8 months weighing an average of 202kg fetched $1,860 or 919c/kg.
For heavier lines, numbers were tight again, with 562 steers over 400kg selling at 85pc clearance, but averaging $167 or 36 c/kg less last week, at $2494 or 557 c. A line of 12-13 month old 409kg Angus steers from Penola, SA fetched $2610 or 638 c/kg – heading to Murray Bridge, SA.
For young heifer lines, average prices across the five categories were three to two last week, with the highest bids again in the 200-280 kg category. Clearance rates for the 2,042 head of 200-280kg heifers were 79pc – down from 60pv a week earlier, although prices were down $8, to $1,767. In terms of c/kg, this category dropped by 13c/kg to 706c on average,
From Douglas-Daly, NT, a line of 124 future breeding NSM Brahman heifers 266kg at 16-20 months fetched $1390 – sold to a local Adelaide River buyer. In the south, a run of 120 Angus heifers from Merton, Victoria, averaging 500 pounds, fetched $1,850.
Heifers from 280-330kg are up an average of $143 this week at $2,054/head, while 747 head from 330-400kg lines have averaged $60 more, to $2,245/head .
As was the case with heavy steers, there were a limited number of heifers over 400kg offered last week, with the 514 head costing an average of $61 or 14 c/kg less than last week, at 2 $324/head. A crossbred Santa heifer line from Toobeah Queensland, 403kg, fetched $2090 and will travel state to buyer in Colbinabbin, Victoria.
Across proven breeding lines, there have been significant price moves in the past week, reflecting buyer age, lines and preferences. A reduced supply of 2,646 PTIC heifers cleared just 57pc, while average prices are $66 lower, at $2,894. A line of 60 PTIC Angus heifers, 20-22 months old, from Moyston Victoria, averaging 377kg, fetched $3,060 and will head to Portland, Victoria.
Strong demand for PTIC cows contributed to a 76pc clearing of the 2,197 head offered, with prices averaging $127 higher than the previous week at $3,119. From Cloncurry Queensland, a line of 220 PTIC Brahman cows ranging from 2 to 11 years old weighing an average of 459kg, fetched $2360 and will travel southeast to Winton, Queensland.
A line of 152 station-mated cows certified organic, with 88 calves from Alice Springs NT, fetched $2780/pair – heading to a buyer in Condobolin NSW. Cows of the majority Angus and Charolais breeds were aged 2 to 11 years and weighed an average of 511 kg.
Prices at 2 p.m., Friday April 29.