WITH dry conditions and a lack of competition continuing to squeeze cattle prices this week, Leongatha livestock agents were already expecting a cheaper market before the sale even began this morning.
Elders’ Auctioneer James Kyle said today’s offering of 1600 head sold to mainly local competition, with some bargains to be found.
“On the whole, I think we got out of it okay though,” he said.
He urged producers with dry feed to consider purchasing cattle at the current prices.
“If you can handle some cattle and can put a few away right now, it wouldn’t be a bad idea,” Mr Kyles said.
“When it rains and - this is Gippsland it will rain – prices will get a lot dearer.”
He quoted heavy steers from 165-175 cents a kilogram and lighter steers from 175-197c/kg.
A smaller run of 300 weaner heifers sold from $460-$470 a head or 130-147c/kg for the better-bred types.
Smaller heifers returned $350-$450.
Volume vendor Adval, Anderson, kicked off the auction with 83 Angus steers, 497-584kg, that fetched $745-$920, average $860 or 149-164c/kg.
Suro Park, Inverloch, was another big vendor, selling 62 European-cross and Angus steers, from $665-$720 or 132-147c/kg.
Sisters Sheridan and Narelle McLeod, McLeod Partnership, Yarram, were also on deck to see their offering of 50 Angus steers sold. Their consignment, 339-397kg, ranged from $560-$655 or 164-170c/kg.
The pair, who run about 200 cows, said they were expecting these results.
“The cattle market fluctuates a lot and you just have to go with it,” Narelle said.
Mike McRae, Cloverdale, Dalyston, was also there to his offering of mixed-sex Charolais-cross weaners go under the hammer. They were mainly Paringa- and Avabundy-blood and February/March 2012-drops.
A total of 33 Charolais-cross steers, 337-345kg, made $620 or 179-184c/kg, while a single pen of four black baldies by Lawsons bulls, tipping the scales at 378kg, made $640 or 169c/kg.
His heifers realised $465-$466 for 30 head weighing 316-350c/kg.
“Even in a tough market, I am happy to get the prices today,” Mr McRae said.
With calving kicking off in two weeks and limited feed, he said he had no option but to sell.
“The prime market is putting a lot of pressure on store prices right now, but hopefully things will turn around,” he said.
* Full report in next week's Stock & Land