Softer market for trade cattle

Softer market for trade cattle


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Softer is probably the best term to describe fat cattle prices at the start of this week.

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Prime cattle markets started on a cheaper note. I was at Pakenham on Monday where a larger penning of 723 cattle, which included a much bigger offering of grown steers and bullocks, sold up to 15c/kg cheaper.

Brett Hutchinson was happy to sell these Angus steers in the Pakenham store sale last Thursday, as prices were better than at Monday's fat cattle market.

Brett Hutchinson was happy to sell these Angus steers in the Pakenham store sale last Thursday, as prices were better than at Monday's fat cattle market.

More company buyers were present due in part to the young auctioneers competition, held later in the morning.

However, prices for grainfed and grain-assisted steers and heifers, mostly 285-310c/kg, were a long way from those purchased during the competition, where prices for similar steers and heifers were from 335-399c/kg lwt.

The cheaper trend in the trade sale was not as savage as prime steers and bullocks. Bullocks weighed from 620-785kgs lwt, and sold between 273-290c, which was 8-12c/kg cheaper.

The pressure was off supply at Wagga Wagga, Monday, as supply fell by 1200 head, to 3600 cattle.

However, restocker and feedlot competition was also off and steers were quoted 15-24c/kg lwt cheaper with few making over 320c/kg.

Trade cattle prices were also lower with the highest price paid by a processor for trade steers being 299c with most of the few purchased from 280-300c/kg lwt. The best price heifers sold to 288c/kg.

Supply increased over all markets, although only small increases occurred at some sales. Camperdown agents yarded nearly double the number, offering a good number of bullocks. Prices for these bullocks were mostly 272-278c/kg lwt.

The best prime bullock prices came from the Leongatha sale, last Wednesday, with prime ox making to 297c/kg lwt.

Vealer supply remains in the very small sector, but prices were still mostly from 285-325c/kg. Only isolated sales of grainfed steers of vealer weights reached 345c/kg at Pakenham, Monday.

The supply of cows remained the highest number of any class. Sales held later last week sold to the best competition with good quality beef cows selling from 240-266c/kg.

While this week, there was a couple of isolated sales to 285c/kg, most 3&4 score cows sold from 235-258c/kg, which was around 3-8c/kg cheaper.

Prices for leaner 1&2 score cows varied greatly with some sales quoting cheaper prices, and others dearer. Warrnambool, last Wednesday was the best, but with many prices between 170&220c/kg this week, prices were up to 14c/kg higher in some sales.

Most of the lean bull beef goes into mince for hamburgers, but despite the number of burgers eaten, here and in the US, bull prices were cheaper.

Heavy, high yielding bulls did make to 285c, but nearly all sold from 240&258c/kg.

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