The Wodonga store cattle market displayed supreme resilience at NVLX Barnawartha on Thursday as another huge wave of drought-forced sales faced a reduced buyer’s gallery devoid of recent northern influence.
The sale of 3874, which offered only a small number of cow and calf units, did however contain a disturbing number of two to three month-old spring-drop calves split from their mothers, and with their mothers sold separately a day earlier in the centre’s chopper cow pens.
Marking steer prices at values only slightly below recent rates a small team of feeder buyers were frequently pushed by local operators to levels of 290 to 310c/kg for the better bred and heaviest of the steer yarding.
This resulted in sales of $1080 to $1375 for the heavier drafts – weights 360 to 450kg – while the lighter 280 to 360kg steers mostly made $770 to $1065 as both classes returned sales that averaged 295c/kg.
Included in the better sales was a yard of 22 Angus, 466kg, sold at $1410 a head for JC & KA Cardwell, Gundowring, Yerrin Pty Ltd, Balwyn sold 20 Angus steers, 438kg, at $1335 while J Whiltshire, Tap Top sold 20 Angus, 400kg at $1255.
Lindooga Pastoral, Table Top sold yards 25 Angus, 379kg at $1180 and 26 Angus, 353kg, at $1000 while CT & CM Packer, Bethanga sold 27 Angus, 299kg at $920.
Lighter weight steers, 200 to 280kg, made $580 to $855 a head while many of the younger two to three month-old spring-drop calves made $280 to $450.
Rodwell auctioneer, Murray Bullen said that it was growing practice among selling agents to split cow and calf outfits in order to obtain a better financial reward for their vendors.
“Nobody really wants to sell this way but with the limited grass and the clouded outlook for the season very few buyer have retained the interest in purchasing these cattle as outfits” he said.
Mr Bullen said that in most cases the net result of these sales was better by a couple of hundred dollars were outfit.
The demand for heifers, particularly the lines suited to the feeders, met intense interest.
This resulted in a narrow band of competition based on 260 to 275c/kg for those purchased to feed while heifers to background saw rates ease back to levels of 230- 250c/kg, which was still a mighty good result under the circumstance of the local season, which has been rejuvenated by recent thunderstorm rains.
Vendor, Jayslee was one of the better rewarded sellers clearing 27 Angus, 380kg at $1035 while GJ & D Geary sold 23 Angus, 356kg, at $975.
JJ & MH Jacobs sold 15 Angus heifers, 402kg at $1040, P & A Stevenson sold 17 Angus, 343kg a5 $925 while P & M Scamell sold 24 Angus, 364 kg at $1000, and a second pen of 22, 345kg, at $900.
Demand for the small number of cows and calf outfits was steady. Best lots of young cows, with spring-drop calves, made $1100 to $1370 while a handful of small and mixed aged lots made $900 to $1000.