Ballarat demand soft as the wet continues

Demand was soft for store cattle at Ballarat on Friday as wet weather and sodden paddocks continue the plague areas of western Victoria.

Stock and Land Beef

Unlike many areas of the eastern states demand was soft and, at times, spongy for store cattle at Ballarat on Friday as wet weather and sodden paddocks continue the plague areas of western Victoria.


And with a penning of 1770 head up for grabs in this month’s offering, the majority of the buying was restricted to the drier areas, with Geelong and local Ballarat buyers absorbing the lion’s share of the penning.

Heavy steers, which once again went without processor and Gippsland bullock finisher inquiry, were sold at a distance below current prime market rates.

These achieved prices to a top $1600 a head or 250c/kg liveweight while feeder competition was one dimensional with prices for these poised in the 280-310c/kg range.

Lighter yearling-age steers weighed at 300-400kg steers generally made 280-330c/kg prices that mostly 30-40c/kg below the rates of the month earlier sale.

To place these returns in context with the broader market, the industry’s benchmark index- the EYCI- was perched a month ago at 543.5c/kg while after Thursday’s trading -the day before this September market  - it reflected an eastern states trading level of 531c/kg – an adjustment of 5.5 percent or some 12 basis points.

While the market for heavier and better grown steers was considered “unusually soft”, the inquiry for light weight young steers that were sold unweighed was eagerly contested, with prices generally unchanged on the previous market.

Light young steers were mostly sold from $900 to $1050 a head which most of these estimated in the 350-450-cent price bracket.

Heifers, also, meet with a more consistent inquiry although feedlot and butcher inquiry was again one dimensional. Better grown and early-finished heifers mostly made 260- 290c/kg, or $1000 to $1090 a head while light and store conditioned were also eagerly sought in the $750- $900 a head price bracket.

Another unusually large penning of cows and calves, although sold up to $200 per outfit off the pace of the previous sale, met with good inquiry selling to a sale high of $2500.

The best priced was a yard of 16 x 16 Angus heifers, with July-August-born Angus calves at foot while most other cow/calf outfits generally made $1800 to $2400.

A single yard of PTIC Angus (youngish) cows, calving the end of September, made $1450.


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