Prime cattle: Sales back on

NOW that we have entered the first full trading week of 2013, all major selling centres have now had at least one sale, if not two.

There was a smattering of markets in the first week of January, with most holding off until this week.

You may ask, "How has the new year opened up?"

Well the answer is not straight forward.

Any market held in the opening week was not good, with the National Livestock Reporting Service quoting some prices 10 to 25 cents per kilogram liveweight cheaper.

This trend was seen at some sales throughout this week, although with the very high temperatures and dry conditions, quality or the lack of it was partly to blame.

Local processors will probably tell you that meat is hard to sell, which it most likely is.

However, if you drive around, or through any of the usual heavy traffic areas they remain quiet.

People are still on holidays, and or eating a lot of salads due to the return of a normal summer.

It usually takes a couple of weeks for people to return to work and resume more normal eating habits.

Export processors are now back at work, but they generally have a supply on hand in direct to the works purchases.

It will also take a couple of weeks to get over the disruptions to shipping over the festive season.

Over many years, January and February can be the most difficult months of selling with large weaner sales in progress, and they usually have the larger supply.

Last year was an exception, with weak supply due to the good seasonal conditions, and prices were quite high for this time of year.

In many ways 2103 may be tough, and it has certainly started that way.

The NLRS quoted a larger supply of good quality vealers with a larger percentage of top quality B muscle steers vealers penned.

The top price was only 195c/kg lwt, and the usual stalwart of Pakenham only sold a minor number of these vealers to 215c/kg lwt.

Price trends for yearling steers and heifers have varied between selling centres.

Any number of good quality steers and heifers have been available at the annual weaner sales for trade buyers, although few have taken advantage of this.

Any yearling steers worth its salt have made 165-180c/kg, but heifer sales have been disproportionate.

Prices for a large range of heifers were from 135-165c/kg lwt.

A lot of these good quality heavy yielding heifers, were best suited to the trade.

Grown steer and bullock supply will take a few weeks to evolve, but for those brave enough to sell this week prices were a little cheaper.

Reports from all NLRS markets indicated that grown steers sold from 165-178c/kg, with prime bullocks mostly 160-170c/kg lwt.

These prices are all equal to, and lower than, the end of 2012.

Depending on which cow market you choose to look at, prices varied.

The major cow sale varied from almost unchanged to 12c/kg lower.

Peter Kostos

Peter Kostos

is a prime stock analyst analyst for Stock & Land
Markets PulseStock & Land markets analysts Murray Arnel and Peter Kostos keep you up to date with the latest news from around the saleyards.


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