Selling during the first rain event for many months, Sale agents offered 1268 head Friday, to a reasonable crowd of mostly Gippsland buyers. Demand was mixed, which led to varying price trends.
Top of the market was a pen of 18 Angus steers, 439kg, offered on behalf of The Est of AA Birss, which sold to a South Gippsland bullock fattener for $1310.
There was only a few pens of yearling steers offered and Angus steers were the proffered item. Hereford steers weighing over 400kg sold from $960-$1110, equaling only 245c/kg lwt.
Generally, the sale sold to very mixed demand with buyers setting a solid pace for two drafts of Angus steers.
D Bates sold 34 Angus steers to $1040, equaling 302-315c/kg lwt, and J&J Mosley, 42 Angus steers for $1020 & $1030, equaling 325&340c/kg lwt.
These sales were very good, but some other sales were only equal at best, and cheaper for many of the younger steer calves.
Information was lacking on pen cards, but from all appearances, all of the cattle penned were from local and surrounding districts.
However, one vendor did send cattle from their East Gippsland property.
Competition was varied with a small amount of competition from feedlots. Most of the reason behind a lack of feedlot demand was the weight of the cattle, which were too light.
Hopkins River and Garrison feedlots were two that were mentioned, but there was at least one other that purchased too.
“Holleywoods” sold 60 Angus steers from $490-$900, and Hillside Pastoral Co, 28 Angus steers from $680-$820. Both lots were unchanged to $80 per head cheaper.
A few pens of steers were purchased for grain feeding, but with weights dropping away fairly quickly, opportunities were limited for feedlots.
While all vendors were happy to see their cattle sold, some were not happy with their prices. Some of this was due to the day’s prices, but some due to comparisons from 2017 prices.
Two pens of very well bred Hereford steers only sold for $780 & $720, which equaled only 245 & 250c/kg lwt. These price results were not isolated throughout the sale, especially heifers and younger calves.
With the exception of the two drafts of Angus steers mentioned earlier, most steers weighing over 260kgs, equaled 260-295c/kg lwt.
Looking down the barrel of a cold winter with little grass, competition was poor for the young steer and heifer calves, regardless of breed.
Not all cattle were weighed, but estimates of weight were fairly accurate after checking with several buyers and agents.
Mawley&Mills sold 28 Angus steer calves from $445-$560, which were estimated to equal 243-262c/kg lwt. Up until this sale, these type of steers were selling over 300c/kg lwt. These steers were not a stand alone sale, as most other lightweight steers sold to similar trends.
Neil Page, Stratford, sold yearling Angus heifers he would normally join, but the drastic season left him no choice but to sell. Two pens of Angus heifers, 358-400kg, sold from $950-$1050, both lots purchased for grain feeding.
Mrs TA McCarthy sold 10 Angus heifers, 381kg, for $985, but most heifers sold between $350 & $660.
A few pens of heifers were weighed and these were displayed, which gave a good assessment of liveweight prices, which were not pretty. Many heifers equaled only 200-240c/kg lwt by comparison.
R&J Wyper sold 11 Hereford cows with good quality calves, 2-3 months, and the lack of demand saw them make only $875-$910 for most of them.
Friesian steers, mostly 12-15 months, sold between $360&$530 with one older steer making $850.