Prime cattle markets softer and stronger

Prime cattle markets softer and stronger

Stock and Land Beef
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Oversupply of secondary cattle from the north continue to flood markets and prices are beginning to soften.

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DAY OUT: Clint Meyer, Longwarry, brought along his sons, Kade, 3, and Dex, one-and-a-half, "for a squizz".

DAY OUT: Clint Meyer, Longwarry, brought along his sons, Kade, 3, and Dex, one-and-a-half, "for a squizz".

Oversupply of secondary cattle from the north continue to flood markets and prices are beginning to soften.

Finished cattle, however, are still in short supply and prices remain strong.

Parts of Victoria and southern NSW received some handy early spring rain and are on the edge of a bumper season.

Sadly, the rain has come too late further north.

In the Wimmera and Mallee regions, farmers are just inside good crops, the best in seasons for some.

Another couple of good rainfall events between now and October could produce above average yields.

Agstock Livestock director John Sheahan of Gundagai, NSW, said the traditionally high rainfall areas of the Riverina still had six weeks before "the tough decision has to be made regarding stock numbers".

"Numbers have been cut back well and truly over the past few years with cow herds reduced 30 to 40 per cent," he said.

"In the next round, we could see splitter calves prior to Christmas with breeders pruning back and retaining cows or, alternatively, taking a cheaper option by unloading cows and feeding calves.

"If we can get rain in Southern Queensland, Hunter Valley and Northern NSW, the country will go.

"Cattle numbers could get short and farmers will need to trade their way back in, not jump back into females straight away.

"The circle is getting smaller and pressure is building for Victoria to keep things going and it will be very interesting over the 12 months.

"The season has run short over three springs now but fortunately prices are holding."

The markets were just as mixed as the seasonal conditions.

Among the stand-out performers was the NVLX at Wodonga, recording better quality this week with fresh milk vealers and yearlings that had been supplementary-fed or finished on crops.

Prices gained 23 cents a kilogram to 300-349c/kg for trade steers and some B-muscled vealer steers reached 345c/kg.

However, Shepparton reported the poorest lineup of trade cattle offered in weeks, with only a handful of trade steers topping at 325c/kg, while a good lineup of bullocks highly sought after by processors lifted prices by 14c/kg to hit 340c/kg.

The medium cow indicator has eased a further 5.5c/kg as producers offload stock.

Heavy cows eased 7c/kg at Wagga Wagga, NSW, where a substantial run of 400 heavy cows sold for between 226-268c/kg, making $1300 to $1600 a head.

Feedlot buyers have surged, again outbidding processors.

Wagga recorded processors paying up to 329c/kg for heavy steers weighing over 400kg.

Store markets numbers continue to soar.

Yea's store sale on Friday will offer more than 4000 head, double last month's market.

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