Lighter cattle in demand as producers miss rainfall

Lighter cattle in demand as producers miss rainfall

Stock and Land Beef
CHANGE: Lighter cattle fetched higher prices as Sale on Friday as a demand for heavy cattle shifted.

CHANGE: Lighter cattle fetched higher prices as Sale on Friday as a demand for heavy cattle shifted.

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Lighter cattle were in demand at Sale on Friday.

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Warm and dry conditions in central and East Gippsland are taking their toll on store sale numbers, agents say.

A yarding of about 400 cattle was presented for auction at Sale on Friday as prices for heavy and well-bred cattle dropped.

However, lighter cattle were in demand, according to Greenwood Livestock managing director Ben Greenwood, who sold more than half of the cattle at the sale.

"The lighter ones we've had a battles with in previous months but it was the reverse for this sale which was a positive to take out of it," Mr Greenwood said.

"Our better cattle 350 to 360 kilos were down on the previous sale, but the lighter steers 250 to 280 kilos were dearer by about $30 to $40 so they sold very well."

Increased numbers of northern Victorian and southern NSW cattle into Gippsland sale yards has "flooded the market" in recent months, also knocking the price about, Mr Greenwood said.

"Prices were a bit softer this sale and we had two days of 35 degree weather which took the sting out of the sale a bit," he said.

"We had about four mils of rain at the weekend when the bureau predicted upwards of 30 mill so the rain's going to be too late now on the dry country to make a difference and that's having an impact too."

Cattle purchased at Friday's store sale went mainly to South Gippsland grass fatteners as competition among feedlotters was limited.

Geoff and Elizabeth Bates, Maida Vale, sold a pen of 14 Angus steers, 368kg, for $1190 or 323 cents a kilogram.

They also sold a second pen of 17 Angus steers, 359kg, for $1090 or 303c/kg as well as seven Angus/Hereford-cross steers, 404kg, for $1200 or 297c/kg.

Gerry and Margaret Derix, Tinamba, sold 23 Angus/Hereford-cross steers, from $710 to $890.

Rodwells livestock agent Graeme McGillivray said the cattle presented "very well" considering the tough and dry season in Victoria's east.

"The promised rain over the weekend did not arrive and that has not helped in any manner," he said.

"Prices at this market were strong and cattle sold to the highest levels compared to other district sales."

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