These are photos of recent annual calf sales at Myrtleford and Omeo, but why are they here in the prime cattle summary?
Monday was a public holiday in Victoria and South Australia, which has depleted the supply of prime cattle.
So, given the quality of cattle being sold in store and annual calf sales, processors could be filling supply from here.
However, while their are plenty of cattle that could suit, prices are well above what processors want to pay. So the shortfall of supply the public holiday created, aided some small price increases.
MLA market reporters did say the fall in supply, which included Tuesday sales too, led to a lack of competition. Continuing falls in quality is also affecting competition.
With Monday markets missing from this week, one needs to look back to the previous to get the best vealer prices.
Warragul agents offered some top quality vealers, in a market offering reduced supply.
The best quality vealers sold to 390 cents per kilogram liveweight, here and up to 379c/kg elswhere. Due to a lack of quality, vealers sold mostly from 350-368c/kg. As buyers turned their attention to grain finished cattle, the better prices here were 340-368c/kg. Restockers did show some strength, and prices increased for suitable cattle.
However, demand from northern feedlots remains subdued as price quotes, direct to feedlots, sits around 320c/kg, and therefore well under saleyard prices.
It is becoming quite clear that the supply of heavy, and export steers continues to weaken, which prompted some better activity.
Bullock prices lifted with the best quality selling from 300-319c/kg. All of the peripheral markets offered very few heavy steers and bullocks, only exemplifying falling supply. It was really only Wodonga and Naracoorte, that tendered a half decent number.
As Monday was the public holiday, the supply of cows should not have been greatly affected.
However, this was not the case. Obviously, getting cattle into the yards, or truckies not wishing to tackle the huge holiday traffic, was an issue. Pakenham agents offered only a very small penning of 56 head, and this would have seen strong demand if not for the very small number, actually reducing competition.
Supply at all cow sales was reduced, which, in my opinion, only indicates the already decreasing number overall.
Prices did lift marginally with the best quality beef cows reaching 258c, although most sold between 230 and 245c/kglwt.
Lean 1&2 score cow prices did show a little improvement with better weighted cows making from 190-230c/kg.
It cannot be determined at this stage, whether this is supply driven, or a lift in the price of 90CL grinding beef to 603.8c/kg.
Stock & Land’s weekly indicators show cow prices averaging at 447c/kg cwt, which might shed some light on the matter.
Competition from restockers is assisting in a base price for plainer condition cows.