With insignificant rain recorded across Western Victoria since at least November, WVLX Mortlake agents had few problems, Thursday, mustering another 3000 head for its monthly store cattle sale.
With numbers up, and best demand limited to lot feeders, prices for the light-in-weight and plain-in-condition steers, heifers and breeding females all suffered at the expense of reserved and limited speculator competition.
Heavier weight and forward in-condition cattle, which were represented in modest numbers throughout the larger penning, met keen interest led by a broad range of lot feeder buyers.
This saw most feeder steers sold in a price range of 265-280 cents per kilogram, while heifers suitable to feed made an average of 260-265c/kg.
WVLX president Bruce Redpath, Elders Kerr, said the results achieved were considered acceptable due to the circumstances.
“Our cattle sold to the feeders were more or less sold at firm values to our market of a month ago however the lighter cattle especially the smaller spring-drop lines were sold at values not seen for some years,” Mr Redpath said.
“We also had breeding cattle penned that we would normally not see in the saleyards.”
Mr Redpath said that the quality of the yarding was quite reasonable considering the extremely dry conditions the area has experienced over the last five months.
In particular, he said a feature line of locally-bred Angus steers which sold to strong feedlot competition (for those mouthed four-tooth and younger).
A big line of cows with calves at varying ages that lost fences and pastures in the recent St Patrick’s Day fires in the South-West were also offered.
These were sold to supportive local competition which saw the tops of the draft sold to $2150 per head for Angus cows with young autumn-drop calves at foot.
Mr Redpath said that in quite a few instances, grown heifers and well-bred weaner heifers sold to a better demand than steers.
“There were quite a few pens of lighter weaner calves with the better bred calves sold by open auction to a keen demand,” he said.
“Young three month old beef-bred calves sold to a weaker demand realising cheaper trends that haven’t been seen for some time.
“Dairy-bred steers and heifers also showed reasonable competition, and there was a line of station-bred PTIC Angus heifers for early spring and late spring calving, that were consigned for sale owing to extremely dry conditions that sold to better than expected competition.”
Several yards of not rejoined were sold to complete the sale.
A pen of spring 15-drop Angus cows, 469kg, made 211c/kg while their one and two year-older sisters (2013//2014-drop), 534kg, made 195c/kg.
Yards of lighter Shorthorn-cross cows, 411kg and 353kg, each made 168c/kg.