Wodonga set the pace, with 11,000 cattle offered over last Thursday and Friday.
Buyers travelled from central and northern NSW and southern Queensland, Gippsland and others buyers from parts of Victoria and South Australia.
At Corcoran Parker, Elders and Landmark’s sale on Thursday, yearling cattle had the headline high prices, but there was a preference for medium to light weight steers. The competition heated up for steers 260 to 350 kilograms, pushing them to prices equivalent to 385-456c/kg lwt. As an indication of the lighter weight heifers, MTS Constructions sold 117 heifers from $960-$1050, most equalling 350-395c/kg.
At the independent agents' sale on Friday, all but one of the major buyers returned and prices were as strong. Some suggested the heifers may have been a little dearer than the previous day.
In the state’s south west, strong prices continued.
While interstate and Gippsland buyers were active at Colac’s independent livestock agents’ steer weaner sale on Monday morning, local restockers secured most of the cattle.
The sale topped at $1520 for a pen of well-bred Angus steers that averaged 444kg.
Across the more than 2000 head yarded, the average weights were some 30kg heavier than in previous years. Prices reflected the quality and strong competition, with only a handful of light steers selling for less than $1200. Processors, including JBS Swift and Thomas Foods International (TFI) underpinned much of the competition at the Western District sales at Hamilton and Casterton.
On Monday afternoon, Hamilton independent agents yarded 3157 black steers. They averaged 357kg lwt and 385c/kg.
The penning averaged 15kg heavier than last year. The market dollar per head top was achieved for the EU-accredited yard of 23 Torbank steers weighed at 435kg. These made 378c/kg liveweight or $1644/head.
The best cents per kilogram sale was Athlone South’s 37 Angus, 283kg, that made 433c/kg. At Landmark Casterton’s weaner steer sale on Tuesday morning, calves exceeding 400kg sold for 360-375c/kg and the price per kilogram continued to rise as the weights decreased, with most 280-320kg cattle making 400-420c/kg.
In the handful of lighter calves, Meteranvale’s pen of 15 Angus steers, Boonaroo bld, 261kg, sold for the top price of 444c/kg.
Back at Hamilton on Tuesday afternoon, processors JBS and TFI were again among the major buyers in the Elders and Landmark Angus steer sale. They competed against orders from Gippsland, south east South Australia, and into NSW.
Christine Koch-Jones, Gorae West, topped the sale with a pen of Bonnydale Angus and Coolana Black Simmental Chelma steers at $1600 a head. Weighed at 442kg the Chelma steers made 362c/kg on a bid placed by TFI.
Vendors are reportedly happy with prices that have held strongly compared to the December store sales.