Feeders up their bids at Mortlake

Feeder buyers have bid higher prices at Mortlake store sale


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Catherine and John Callahan travelled from Barwon Downs in the Otway Ranges to offer Hereford steers by Wolbul bulls.

Catherine and John Callahan travelled from Barwon Downs in the Otway Ranges to offer Hereford steers by Wolbul bulls.

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A two speed demand has operated at Mortlake store whereby prices for better types of grown cattle suitable for lot feeding averaged 6-10c/kg lwt higher by restocker inquiry remained selective

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The pace quickened for feeder cattle at the WVLX monthly store cattle sale on Thursday when a mixed yarding of 2610 was offered to a large, inquisitive but selective gallery of Western District and southeast SA buyers.

In a sale that could easily described as having a two-speed demand, better grown cattle suitable for lot feeding averaged 6 to 10c/kg lwt dearer with interstate and local feeders in hot pursuit.

Lighter steers and especially those presented in plain condition were mainly sold at firm to cheaper rates. However the exception were the larger lines of well-bred Angus weaners that saw prices on occasions up to $150 a head dearer due to the underpinning support of a live export steer order.

The heifer market traded on similar terms with feeders keener for any suitable lots. But away from these demand suffered, and without any volume orders in place, the opportunity to purchase young heifers at heavily discounted rates were ample between 180 and 230c/kg lwt.

In the opening pens Millicent SA producers, Peter and Heather Burton sold three yards of their Argyle Angus steers. Offered in forward store condition these made 280c/kg (553kg), 294c/kg (523kg) and 298c/kg (508kg) with J&F Feedlots (JBS) claiming the heaviest two yards while Elders Deniliquin for Australian Food and Agriculture’s Peppinella Feedlot at Conargo, NSW secured the lightest pen of 12.

This latter purchase commenced a haul of almost 100 head by the newly commissioned Riverina feedyard, which included 14 DG & MA Pevitt Angus steers, 509kg, booked at 299c/kg, V Kinnear -15 Angus, 504kg bid to 300-cents and Dunleath Park, 13 Angus, 500kg, also taken at $3/kg.

Additional feeder competition from Teys Charlton paying to 303c/kg for 19 Lynlee Angus steers, 437kg, and Hopkins River paying to 305c/kg 12 D&A Mirtschin Angus steers, 377kg, maintained the pressure on all Angus and Angus-cross sales, 370kg and up, making upwards of 284c/kg.

A large number of smaller mixed pens were also a feature of this June, end of financial year sale. These sales were generally discounted by 10 to 15c/kg on similar large-line sales while several bigger drafts of store-conditioned Hereford steers made 270- 272c/kg for weights representing 284 to 328kg.

A feature of unweighed weaner sales was a bid of $1005 for a pen of 43 Ardonachie Angus steers from Macarthur, estimated at 260kg. A second pen of 41 Ardonachie steers made $850 while most other Angus weaner sales made $630 to $810 a head, and Hereford weaners, $480 to $530/head.

Heavier heifers captured by the persistent feeder demand made 264 to 289c/kg while plainer and lighter heifers made 220-235c/kg with some sales sinking as low at 180-200c/kg.

A run of crossbred steers weighed at 437 to 503kg made 172 to 211c/kg while a mixed selection of cows with calves made from $1100 to top at $1800 for Angus heifers with Angus calves aged to 12 weeks. 

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