Echuca producers destocking

Sharp range in prices at Echuca, which sees a large draft of younger cattle


Sales
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The ongoing dry sees smaller, lighter cattle continue to dominate Echuca.

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TOUGH GOING: The monthly store cattle sale at Echuca saw a large draft of smaller cattle, as regional producers continue to destock. File photo.

TOUGH GOING: The monthly store cattle sale at Echuca saw a large draft of smaller cattle, as regional producers continue to destock. File photo.

Ongoing dry conditions around the north-west of the state have seen producers continuing to turn off small stock, as they seek to hold onto breeding cows through the winter.

The monthly Echuca store sale saw 1420 cattle yarded, with agents saying there was a sharp range in prices.

Schubert Boers, Lavington, bought the largest draft of stock, taking up to 350 head, according to Matt O'Connor, Elders.

"He bought lighter cattle for backgrounders to go back onto grass," Mr O'Connor said.

"There was a big difference in cattle that had any weight, anything between 280-300 kilograms was $50-60 dearer."

He said C&L Oliver, Echuca, offered 16 Hereford steers, weighing about 310kg, which made $810 a head.

Among the heifers, G Grinter made $970 for a pen of eight Angus and $940 for a second pen of 12.

Clay Mabilia, Rodwells, said while it was a smaller yarding, prices were not too bad.

"There weren't a lot of older cattle, but they sold well to the feedlots," Mr Mabilia said.

"A lot of cattle have done it hard, so prices ranged fairly significantly, from $300 up to $500, for some handy calves."

He said the yarding was drawn from a wide area, around Echuca, which had experienced some rain, but was still very dry.

Mr Mabilia said most of the area was experiencing a green drought.

"A lot of little calves are getting sold off the cows early, just so they can hold their breeders and get them through the winter," he said.

A lot of little calves are getting sold off the cows early, just so they can hold their breeders and get them through the winter. - Clay Mabilia, Rodwells

The tops of Rodwells' steers fetched $1070.

Tony Hooppell, FP Nevins & Company, said the best Hereford/Friesian-cross steers sold to $1100.

"It was much the same as the previous market - maybe there wasn't the quality of cows and calves we had before, but prices were relative," Mr Hooppell said.

The top steer price was for a pen of six Black Baldies, offered by JM and DR Plattfus, Echuca, which sold for $1120.

FP Nevins also sold 10 Black Baldy heifers, from IW Spiers, Echuca, which made $1070.

Mr Hooppell said seven Angus heifers, from Hamley Park, with 2-3-month-old Angus calves at foot, made $1420.

Brock Fletcher, Charles L King & Company, said the market was very erratic.

"Some cattle sold very well and other stock was very buyable," Mr Fletcher said.

"The better steers were close to the $3 mark, and good, proper Angus steers would have made 270-300c/kg.

"While the last sale was a bit more consistent, this was a bit all over the shop."

Heavy cattle had come up in price, although there were not many 300kg-plus cattle on offer.

"More than half the yarding would have been those little Angus cattle, ranging from 100-150kg, and selling for between $240-340," he said.

Neil Maddison, Maddison Livestock, said beef steers sold very well, although the cow and calf market wasn't "over the top".

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