ENTERING the Bairnsdale selling complex one could think you had entered the fat cattle sale, not a store market.
It would appear that prices at recent physical markets have risen to producers proffering the store market over fat sales.
The good size yarding offered potential buyers with many pens of heavier yearling steers in forward store to fat condition.
The season has been very good in East Gippsland and a lot of the cattle sold were in good condition.
Couple this with the usual good breeding seen in most of the East Gippsland cattle, and the sale was set for solid prices.
However, this only stretched to the light and medium weight steers, as the heavier, steers, heifers and most cows and calves were harder to sell.
While there was some competition from a processor, this was very limited and most were purchased to return to the paddock.
Yearling steers made between $725 and $955, the heaviest weighing 588 kilograms liveweight.
Liveweight price equated to a range from 155 cents a kilogram to 185c/kg lwt.
There was a large crowd at the sale with most looking to purchase the light and medium weight steers. This created strong competition and good prices.
Buying was restricted solely to the broader Gippsland area, with only minor processor purchases to Melbourne wholesalers.
Numerous sales of steers were noted between $550 and $720 for steers weighing up to 380kg.
Producers were happy to see liveweight prices range from 205-240c/kg lwt. The higher liveweight prices were reserved mostly for the lightest steers.
Yearling heifer prices were well below that of their brothers, which has been the trend now for several weeks, if not months.
One feature line of heifers that sold to strong competition was a line of 67 predominantly Angus heifers of Hazeldean and Leawood bloodlines.
SR&MC Beasley, Emu Park, Bairnsdale, offered these heifers, which sold from $525-$600, av $560.
Most other heifers sold from $300-$550. Liveweight price equivalents were from 150-175c/kg, although some very light heifers reached an estimated 205c/kg lwt.
M Enever, Bairnsdale, offered a line of yearling Angus and Angus-Shorthorn heifers, PTIC to Sparta bulls for April-May calving.
These sold well making $725-$835.
The breeding, quality and weight of the cows and calves were quite mixed, although most of the cows were in good to fat condition.
Prices for these better quality drafts were from $870 to $1200, with lighter and mixed quality outfits from $600-$900.
Some sales were good; others gave buyers a potential good return for their money.