Offering a smaller, clean-up penning of 2150 head, rates paid for steers were generally 20-30c/kg liveweight softer while heifer rates proved more resilient easing by 5-15 cents.
Elders auctioneer Graeme Nicholson said the recent dry pinch in the weather along with the attraction of East Gippsland's annual Mountain calf sales had denied the Ballarat sale of its usual Gippsland support.
Local operators he said who the seized the opportunity to buy were cautious and would remain so until a break in weather was gained to improve the quality of the local feed.
“And if you were to take the feedlot competition out of this market, prices would have softened even further”, Mr Nicholson said.
Market quotes included pens of heavy steers, 450-550kg, that made $1530 to $1670 per head to average 327c/kg while steers, 360-450kg, made $1320-$1550, av 349c.
Lighter steers, 280-360kg, made $1150-$1330, to have average sales of 374c/kg.
Heavier heifers generally made $1250 to $1470, av 330c/kg while lighter heifers made $1140-$1240, av 355c/kg.