Wetter than normal conditions in South Gippsland are forcing producers to offload stock earlier than usual, as store cattle prices remained firm at Leongatha on Friday.
Agents reported strong demand at the fortnightly store sale last week with a good mix of vendor-bred weaner cattle and cross-breds selling mostly to several feedlotters and commission buyers.
Reports of increases in restocker activity were also noted as the saleyard's operator, the Victorian Livestock Exchange, continues to restrict small-scale buyers from its facilities due to COVID-19.
The sale, which featured 2700 cattle, came a day after Nutrien Ag Solutions' special autumn sale.
Alex Scott & Staff Leongatha livestock manager Dane Perczyk said it was one of the strongest store sales in terms of price and demand he had witnessed in recent months.
"Coming off the fat prices picking up in the last three weeks dramatically, a 30-40 cent (a kilogram) rise in a short period of time, plus also good rain everywhere, it has contributed to a growing demand for store cattle," he said.
There were several reports of vendors consigning cattle to the fortnightly store sale due to a wetter than average May, with one producer describing the conditions similar to that normally experienced in late July.
Light Angus steers continued their dominant trend, with cattle under 250 kilograms selling above 500 cents a kilogram.
Mr Perczyk said the sale featured a good selection of well-grown cross-bred cattle which sold from $1900 to $1100 and were popular among feedlotters and some restockers.
Interest from buyers outside the region was also consistent, including a Wangaratta-based agent who was active filling orders during the sale, alongside regular operators and professional buyers.
East Gippsland vendors S and N McRae, Denison East, sold a consignment of 56 Speckle Park Friesian-cross weaners which weighed 220-240kg and sold between $850-$950.
Another feature line including 140 Angus steers and bullocks bred by SW and BM McLaren, Kernot, whose grown cattle topped the sale while the line averaged $2007.
Their top pen of 10 bullocks, 681kg, sold for $2430 or 357c/kg.
Another pen of 17 steers, 615kg, sold for $2350 or 382c/kg while their lighter steers, 490-466kg, sold to 425c/kg.
Representing agent Phelan & Henderson & Co principal David Phelan said the cattle were mainly purchased by feedlotters.
Meanwhile, Elders Korrumburra and Leongatha livestock manager Rohan McRae said most well-bred lines of light and feeder-weight steers had a reserve of 400c/kg, slightly dearer than the heifers, as cross-breds sold in the high 300c/kg range.
A and Y Morrison sold 16 Hereford steers, 528kg, for $2010 or 380c/kg.
J Jans sold 11 Hereford steers, 433kg, for $1600 or 369c/kg.
P Novonty sold 14 Angus steers, 476kg, for $1840 or 386c/kg.
L and R Powney sold 16 two-year-old Hereford steers, 565kg, for $2000 or 354c/kg.
P and M Batters sold 28 Angus steers, 14mo, 418kg for $1790 or 428c/kg.
McLeod partnership sold 21 Angus steers, 11mo, 400kg, for $1660 or 415c/kg.
Kruber Nominees sold 25 Angus Hereford-cross steers, 10mo, 330kg for $1450 or 439c/kg.
D and A Klindworth sold 17 Angus steers, 405kg, for $1700 or 419c/kg.
Netherwood Pastoral sold 21 Angus steers, 322kg, for $1500 or 465c/kg.
H and C Garcia, Garras Angus, sold 23 Angus steers, 245kg, for $1250 or 510c/kg.
Elsanvale sold 13 Charolias Angus-cross steers, 420kg, for $1740 or 414c/kg.
In the heifers, Elsanvale sold seven Charo Angus-cross heifers, 387kg, for $1530 or 395c/kg.
G and S Couper sold 23 Angus and Angus-cross heifers, 419kg, for $1650 or 393c/kg.
M Rodgers sold five Charolais heifers, 396kg, for $1560 or 393c/kg.
Netherwood Pastoral sold 20 Angus heifers, 305kg, for $1150 or 377c/kg.
Perry Farms sold 59 Angus heifers, 16mo, 360kg, for $1440 or 400c/kg.
Belgrano Pty Ltd sold 34 Angus heifers, 11mo, 262kg, for $1200 or 458c/kg.
A and G Hunter sold 14 Angus heifers, 18mo, 410kg, for $1660 or 405c/kg.
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