Naracoorte Cattle Report

Numbers fell by over half as agents yarded 743 head of liveweight and open auction cattle following widespread rains across the district in the last week. The cattle on offer sold to a slightly smaller field of trade and processor buyers with feeders and restockers also present and active. Quality was extremely mixed with a large percentage lacking in finish as the market produced a mixed result in price.

Vealer numbers remained steady as steers ranged from 266c to 310c and heifers from 250c to 285c/kg with the trade, feeders and restockers all active. Yearling steer numbers dropped right away with the trade active from 252c to 303c with feeders operating from 257c to 270c and restockers from 230c to 271c/kg. Yearling heifers to the trade ranged from 242c to 274c with feeders active from 237c to 245c and restockers purchased to 230c/kg.

Grown steers and the few bullocks were unchanged in price as the trade operated from 240c to 290c with feeder activity on suitable weights from 254c to 263c/kg. A wide range of grown heifers came forward as these ranged from 168c to 282c and manufacturing steers ranged from 190c to 202c/kg. Heavy cows lifted 5c to 7c as these ranged from mainly 188c to 210c with an isolated sale to 216c/kg. Light weight cows ranged from 114c to 178c with heavy bulls ranging from 150c to 195c as light weights sold to a high of 223c/kg.
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Bendigo Sheep & Lamb Report

There was a modest lift in lamb numbers to 24,100 head, while sheep numbers halved as the cull, due to the dry season, starts  to slow. Quality in the lamb run was better than a week ago, with more consistent finish and weight evident across the young unshorn lambs. All the regular buyers operated and showed reasonable demand for numbers, which underpinned a strong market which gained pace as the sale progressed. Prices were mostly $4 to $10/head dearer, with the heaviest and lighter weight domestic lambs recording the best gains. There wasn’t a lot of price change over the medium trade weight lambs. A small pen of heavy shorn lambs topped the sale at $243/head.

The heaviest pens of young lambs weighing over 27kg cwt sold from $215 to a top of $233/head. The main run of good crossbred young lambs in the 22-24kg cwt bracket made from $163 to $190 to average $177/head. Specialist restockers from Ballarat did apply some buying pressure in the 18-21kg cwt range of lambs against processors, with most sales improving to between $138 to $166/head and it was this style of lamb which showed the most dollar per head improvement of the sale. On a carcass basis most lambs to processors consistently averaged from 710c to 750c/kg cwt. The selection of old season lambs continues to dwindle, although any recently shorn pens that displayed good carcass quality were dearer.

Sheep supplies tightened amid strong demand from processors which led to significant price gains of $10 to $20/head for mutton. There was some big lines of extra heavy crossbred ewes which sold to $162, while the heavy Merino wethers reached $160/head. Mutton tracked comfortably above 400c, with the good lines of medium weight Merinos estimated at around 450c/kg cwt.
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Wagga Cattle Report

The prospect of rain contributed to a significant decrease in numbers. Yearling cattle were very mixed in condition, reflecting the dry spring conditions. There were good supplies of yearling steers and heifers suitable for the trade. Grown steer and bullocks numbers increased marginally. It was a bigger group of both domestic, export and feedlot buyers in attendance.

Vealers were in short supply, with the pick of the vealers going to select butcher orders from 270c to 290c/kg. Trade heifers benefited from increased competition from a northern domestic order. Medium weight trade heifers sold from 240c to 280c, averaging 261c/kg. Trade steer supplies lifted and quality was quite good. The better finished steers sold from 285c to 292c/kg. There were a few more store orders in place, although there were less light weight cattle under 300kg offered, which contributed to a dearer trend of 20c to 30c/kg. The bulk of the steers returning to the paddock sold from 230c to 291c/kg. Secondary light weight heifers weighing 200-280kg sold to dearer trend, averaging 247c/kg.

The feeder steer and heifer market rallied on the prediction of rain. All weights and grades sold considerably dearer, with a boat order helping drive prices higher for the lighter weight steers. Medium weight feeder steers made from 255c to 302c/kg. The lighter steers sold 16c dearer to average 279c/kg. Feeder heifers weighing 330-400kg regained last week’s losses selling 29c dearer to average 248c/kg. Domestic and export processors found it difficult to secure adequate supplies. The better quality pens of prime finished steers made from 270c to 295c/kg. All weights and grades were represented in the cow market. Northern
processors controlled the market lifting prices, generally by 20c to 30c/kg. Heavy cows sold 23c dearer to average 231c/kg. The D3 weight lines sold up to 30c dearer, while the D2 types lifted 23c to average 169c/kg.
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Pakenham Cattle Report

There were approximately 970 export and 300 young cattle penned, representing a decrease of 220 head week-on-week. The usual buying group was present and operating in a firm market, which improved in places. Quality was mixed, with more cattle showing some level of finish in most categories, while there were fewer plain conditioned light weights. Most trade cattle sold firm, with vealers in short supply, while the best of the grain assisted lots sold up to 15c/kg dearer. Grown steers were in short supply, with the leaner steers easing a few cents, while the larger and better quality selection of bullocks improved 2c to 4c/kg. Heavy grown heifers lifted 15c/kg. Heavy Friesian manufacturing steers increased 15c for better quality, while the crossbred portion eased 4c/kg. Competition increased slightly for cows as they made 2c to 10c/kg more. Heavy bulls eased 2c/kg.

Vealers showing some finish sold from 274c to 330c/kg. Yearling trade steers made from 270c to 320c/kg. Yearling heifers to the trade sold from 244c to 310c/kg.

Grown steers made from 270c to 285c/kg. Bullocks sold from 263c to 307c/kg. Heavy grown heifers made from 225c to 265c/kg. Heavy Friesian manufacturing steers sold from 175c to 225c, with the crossbred portion making from 181c to 280c/kg. Most light and medium weight cows made from 124c to 189c/kg. Most heavy weight cows sold from 159c to 229c/kg. Heavy bulls made from 222c and 236c/kg.
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