Quality down at Leongatha store cattle sale


Markets
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A LARGER yarding of more than 1400 cattle at Thursday's Leongatha store cattle sale could not offset the poorer quality of stock offered on the day.

LEONGATHA’S Thursday yarding really started showing the season with quality at its Thursday store cattle sale down across the board.

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But as local agents agreed, it didn’t matter how many plainer or off-breed cattle were penned, when the good ones came up so did the hands in the large gallery.

Numbers rose more than 400 on the previous sale, boosted by more export type cattle, but most of the business on the day was done by the restockers.

Landmark’s Stuart Jenkin said the yarding reflected breeding of stock, with a lot of Friesian type cattle and crossbreds.

But the grown steers and bullocks were of better quality, with plenty of weight and condition, and it showed in sales with the younger steers peaking at $1500 and 208 of the heavier types – 600-750kg and fat score four – averaging $1975.

Overall though, heavy steers and bullocks were 3-7c/kg cheaper than the previous week.

Beef cows remained at similar rates while the large showing of dairy cows was several cents back.

“Numbers were a little better than expected and we had cattle coming from Yea and east Gippsland on the day,” Stuart said.

“Our best heavier steers went between $3 and $3.20 while the best of our blacks made 365c/kg to 375c/kg,” he said.

“But it was the lighter cattle which continued to dominate on a cents per kilo basis, some of them pushing $4.

“The restockers ruled and although we had some feedlotters there they didn’t do much business.”

The trade cattle had mixed price results. There were next to no yearling steers about and only a handful of supplementary-fed calves, with the majority of the young cattle yearling heifers. Vealers ranged from 312c/kg to a top of 360c/kg.

Most of the yearling heifers were D muscled types and made from 275c/kg to 318c/kg.

The 500-600kg C3 and C4 steers made between 295c to 318c to average 308c, while the 600kg plus C3 and C4 bullocks made from 292c to 313c to average 304c/kg.

“I went to Heyfield on the Friday and heifers there were not doing any better than the ones we had the day before,” Stuart added.

“The better end of the heifers, with supplementary feeding fetched from 330 cents to 350,” he said.

“Smaller heifers realised as much as $1140 or around 345 cents.”

Heavy dairy cows made from 185-230c/kg with heavy beef cows ranging from 208-257c/kg.

Sale high was one 600kg-plus bull going for $2894, while a small offering of manufacturing steers weighing 540kg-plus saw a pen of 10 (fat score three) make $1844 or 277.5c/kg.

Elders Michael Foote agreed about the quality of the yarding and said it was a day for good cattle only.

He said they made their money with prices as good as anywhere in recent weeks but as we head into winter buyers are becoming a lot choosier.

“We expect the next Leongatha sale to go somewhere around 1400-1500 head,” he said.

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