NSW weekly cattle summary

AUSTRALIA - With the selling season winding down and a number of centres holding their last sale for the year, consignments remained high as producers continue to shed surplus stock.
calendar icon 18 December 2006
clock icon 2 minute read

At all reported sales, numbers rose nearly 3,000 head. Yardings again featured large proportions of well-bred calves, weaners and yearlings that would normally be held as future breeders or not sold until well into next year. Numbers doubled at Gunnedah with nearly a third of the offering being yearling feeder steers with also large numbers of young calves.

Similarly at Wagga, another 4,000 plus yarding included a number of large lines of breeder-consigned yearling heifers. In some cases these represented the complete drop. The brighter side of this picture was the willingness of mainly northern NSW and Queensland restockers to take a gamble on summer rain and save the best of these lines from slaughter, at least in the short-term.

The improved quality of the young cattle at many sales prompted stronger demand from both restockers and feeders with most categories, including those to processors, recording price gains of 10¢ to 20¢/kg. Reasonable numbers of supplementary fed cattle came through again as producers opt to take the pain of lower than budgeted prices rather than wait for a recovery while feeding high-priced grain and hay.

The export section of the market remained a secondary player with supply – and quality of grown steers and bullocks further reduced. Cows and grown heifers were in fair numbers but some centres reported lighter consignments. The market was generally easier with falls of 5¢ to 10¢/kg common.

Prices recover

Young cattle prices generally recovered last week’s falls as higher quality feeder and restocking lines attracted stronger demand. The better quality lines were partially matched by increased numbers of supplementary fed trade cattle at a number of centres. Additional restocker orders pushed prices up by 9¢ to 20¢/kg at Scone. At Gunnedah, the biggest rise was for an improved offering of light calves which averaged 30¢/kg dearer.

Across all centres, nearly all young cattle categories rose from 2¢ to 18¢/kg. Light and medium weight vealers to restockers averaged 16¢ dearer at 175¢, heifers averaged 138¢/kg. Light yearling steers to feeders and restockers gained 14¢ to 18¢/kg, making to 180¢ and averaging 156¢/kg. Heavier steers to processors lifted 9¢ to average 163¢/kg. Heifers recorded rises nearly to the same extent with feeder and restocking lines averaging 133¢ and medium weight C3s to kill making to 186¢ and averaging 147¢/kg.

The few grown steers eased 3¢ with heavy weights averaging 151¢/kg. Export heifers were dearer by 4¢ and made to 155¢/kg. Cows struggled to hold their rates with light weights faring best with reasonable restocker support. Other categories ranged from 1¢ to 3¢/kg cheaper. Most D3s ranged from 73¢ to 114¢ with the best heavy weights to 126¢/kg.

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