Unexpected spike for Ballarat steers

Unexpected spike for Ballarat steers


Weaner Sales Multimedia
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Prices surged well above expected values at Ballarat's annual steer sale on Friday.

Ballarat cattle producers were well rewarded for a quality penning at the district’s annual steer sale, Friday, when prices spiked well above expected values.

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An unexpected spike in buying demand for the 2700-head yarding came, for grown steers, from an upturn in procurement activity from the region’s major processor feeders competing against a more determined inquiry from South Gippsland bullock finishers.

And, a command performance by the live export industry, which seized of more than 750 steer weaners or some 28 percent of the total yarding and lifted prices by a much as 30 cents a kilogram or $100 a head across the majority of the weaner penning.

The rise in values especially for the majority of the weaner stock was in direct contrast to a further softening the cattle industry’s benchmark index – the eastern young cattle index or EYCI – which fell 15 points or almost three percent week-on-week.

Quoting the market, heavy steers 550-650kg made from $1480 to a top of $1570 a head. This weight of steer saw sales 267 cents per kilogram while feeder steers, 450-450kg, made $1280 to $1460 and averaged 280c/kg.

Heavier pens of weaner steers and the light pens of grown steers, 360-450kg, where perhaps the least affected in the surprise lift in market values These weights mostly made $1150 to $1300 or 295c/kg while weaners, 280-360kg, which were the target of the live export demand, made $910 to $1200 a head and averaged an impressive 325c/kg, with some sales to 360-370c/kg.

The yarding, which as mentioned was of excellent quality, did however contain a number of drafts that had slipped in condition but due to the outstanding spring season very few lots lighter than 300kg were penned.

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