Prices and quality fluctuate in prime market

Prices and quality fluctuate in prime market

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STARTING AGAIN: Stuart Hipwell, Karrimba, bought this pen of seven steers, 284kg, for $920 a head at Yea's store cattle sale last week.

STARTING AGAIN: Stuart Hipwell, Karrimba, bought this pen of seven steers, 284kg, for $920 a head at Yea's store cattle sale last week.

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Yarding quality has fluctuated this week along with prices.

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Over the weekend, extensive rain fell over the state of Victoria, up to five inches in some parts.

For some districts experiencing the best winter in years, this was the icing on the cake.

Not so great for the northern states, with very high cattle numbers recorded last week at Dubbo, NSW, as growers continue to reduce numbers, some making the heartbreaking decision to destock entirely.

Producers in southern parts of Australia are taking advantage of the smorgasbord of well bred cattle on offer coming from the north.

It is fortunate that some parts of Australia are in a position to take on stock, assisting in keeping these cattle alive as the slaughter numbers for females hit record highs.

Subsequently, there is a knock-on affect beginning to show in male kill rates.

Yarding quality has fluctuated this week along with prices.

Some saleyards reported very plain winter yardings, however, at northern centres such as Wodonga, Shepparton and Wagga Wagga, NSW, quality improved.

At Wodonga, some outstanding milk-vealers were on offer this week with with processors having to pay up to 344 cents a kilogram.

Bidding intensified between processors at Shepparton with a pen of outstanding B muscled steers reaching 355c/kg.

There should be an increase soon in high quality vealer numbers with a promising spring approaching.

Meat & Livestock Australia reporters said there were very slim pickings of quality trade cattle suiting the domestic processors.

Prices have remained firm or gained a little where quality was present.

At Shepparton where quality did improve, 104 yearling steers sold with 76 selling over 260c/kg.

The tops reached 345c/kg and one single B muscled steer made 352c/kg.

Grown steers and bullocks have sold to strong competition, again, with quality.

Leongatha sold in a mostly firm market making between 320-355c/kg, whereas prices at Shepparton fluctuated, selling between 315-345c/kg.

Cow numbers have eased, showing the seasonal shortage.

Export processors are buying leaner types to put on feed anticipating numbers will get tighter.

Prices fluctuated across markets with Leongatha recording a correction of 8c/kg for heavy cows and up to 25c/kg for lighter weights, however, Wagga reported a stronger market with restockers paying between 185-255c/kg on a large portion of cows.

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