In a day when competition was limited, the best quality drafts of steers, both younger, and yearlings, sold quite well.
It was only six days since the last market at Leongatha, after the annual January sale of Stevens, Egan and Johnston, held the previous Friday.
However, despite South Gippsland having the tail end of an excellent season, competition for most cattle was limited.
Each year, there can be one sale that could be considered as “one out of the box”, and this was one of those.
The top sale of the day was 80 yearling Hereford and Angus steers, of Jim Forsyth, which were in prime condition and weighed between 477 and 581 kilograms live weight.
Selling between $1360 and $1580, they equaled 267 to 309 cents a kilogram live weight, and were by far, a long way ahead of any other lot in live weight price terms.
Most of the better bred yearling steers, 400 to 485kgs, sold from $1000 to $1350, and equaled only 241 to 266c/kg, which was up to 20c/kg cheaper than the sale the week prior.
Competition for these heavier steers came mostly from bullock fatteners, who have been selling their bullocks for good money.
South and West Gippsland has had a fantastic end to spring, and many of the bullocks sold recently have weighed better than expected.
However, with current fat cattle market prices easing, demand for replacement steers was not as strong.
There were a lot of very well bred steers that sold between $750 and $1150/hd, which equaled 225 to 275c/kg lwt.
KF McRae, Cloverdale, Dalyston, sold 54 Charolais-Angus steers from $915 to $1040, and 35 Angus steers, $890 and $900. These were among the top of the day equaling 256 to 288c/kg lwt.
These steers, and numerous other pens, were purchased by processors for grain feeding.
One of the major issues that arose at this sale, which was driven by the lack of competition, was an appetite for weaned cattle over not weaned.
At times the difference in prices was 10 to 20c/kg lwt, as inducting steers into a feedlot generally required calves to be weaned.
However, processors proved they would buy steers straight off mum but at reduced rates.
Well-bred Limousin cross steers of N&L Smith, Pound Creek, weighed 316 and 360kgs, sold from $760 and $890.
A large selection of better quality Friesian steers sold from $450 to $930, with live weight prices, equaling 112-174c/kg.
Dairy cross steers, mostly Angus-Friesian sold from $390 to $940, or 132 to 173c/kg lwt.
I&B McAlpine, Yarram, sold both Friesian and crossbred steers, which sold within $5/hd of each other.
Their Friesian steers, 586kgs, sold for $935, and their crossbred steers, 558kgs lwt, made $940.
It was similar story in the heifer sale, despite not having many yarded. A pen of yearling Charolais heifers sold for $1030, which were purchased for grain feeding.
A good percentage of the younger heifers sold for grain feeding, selling mostly between $650 and $890.
The 50 Charolais and Angus heifers of KF McRae, Dalyston, sold between $700 and $880, or 219 to 261c/kg lwt. Many of the well bred heifers, Angus, Charolais, or Limousin, and their crosses, equaled 192-235c/kg lwt. A small selection of cows and calves sold mostly from $1005 to $1250, with some very plain and lightweight outfits making much less.