Pakenham agents held their last store cattle sale for 2018, and offered 2900 head in a very mixed quality yarding.
From heavy bullocks down to some very light and poor condition cattle, most of the yarding came from within West and South Gippsland, and the Mornington Peninsula.
Much of the talk during the sale was about how much rain had, or had not fallen during the night and morning.
Reports were coming through of over 200 millimetres of rain in the North-East, while locally it varied from 3-15mm.
Competition came from many quarters, with producers, fatteners, feedlots and speculators all buying cattle.
While the rain fell outside, demand for the better-bred cattle was solid, and prices were firm to easier on the previous sale, two weeks ago.
Much of the price decline was seen on heavier yearling steers as feedlot companies did not go at the pace, and teeth was an issue for them too.
The top of the sale was 15 Angus bullocks of Oban Management, Drouin West, that sold for $1600.
Some of these older steers were purchased for long-term grain feeding in the north.
However, other export processors did not enter the market for feeder steers.
Most of the yearling steers sold between $1200-$1450 a head, equaling between 275-290 cents a kilogram.
Competition was very solid for steers, mostly Angus, weighing between 350-460kg, that had their milk teeth.
Barragunda Estate, Cape Schanck, sold 48 yearling Angus steers from $1320-$1510, and all were 14-15 months-old.
Frame and condition were important here, and prices ranged from $1050-$1510 for steers aged 12-16 months.
There was feedlot competition for European breed steers, 320-400kg, to grain feed for the local market.
Prices were mostly from $900-$1100, and most equaled over 300c/kg.
There was a broad spread of breeds offered, including Belgium Blue, Charolais and cross-breeds, Limousin, Red Angus, Murray Grey, and of course, Angus and some Herefords.
This spread of breeds was more noticeable than normal, and many had local feedlots competing.
A very broad range of prices was seen for younger steers.
Better-bred steers sold to erratic competition, this saw prices vary between $450-$950.
Most sales equaled between 280-360c/kg, although some sales were noted lower than this.
Solid demand for heavier heifers, some for grain feeding, some for breeders, and many to return to the paddock, created some solid prices.
Barragunda Estate Angus heifers sold very well.
Their 64 yearling heifers sold between $960-$1190.
Strong demand for European breed heifers for grain feeding created some excellent results.
J&M McMinnes, Trafalgar, sold 12 Charolais heifers, 319kg, for $980, and C Priestly, Koo Wee Rup, Belgium Blue heifers for $840.
The larger percentage of heifers sold between $500-$940, but their liveweight prices equaled between 220-270c/kg.
Plenty of plain condition heifers, some of dubious breeding, sold from $300-$550.
The sale of 121 cows and calves was interesting.
Most of the cows were better-bred, and of larger frame, and from second to fifth calved cows.
Many had good quality Charolais or Limousin calves at foot, mostly from 2-4 months of age.
R Taulla, Pearcedale, sold reasonable quality cows with Charolais calves from $1450-$1500.