A mixed yarding of cattle contributed to a fluctuation in prices for cattle at Leongatha on Friday as a dip in interstate demand allowed South Gippsland restockers to re-enter the market.
Agents yarded about 1900 steers and just under 1000 heifers during the fortnightly store sale where feedlotters continued their pursuit for well-bred cattle.
While well-bred heavy cattle and light weaners under 300 kilograms remained in-demand at Leongatha, most agents said the sale eased on a fortnight ago due to less quality-bred cattle and an increase of cross-bred and Friesian steers on offer.
Light steers between 240-290kg ranged from 440-490c/kg with heavier steers mostly selling from 380c/kg.
Teys Australia livestock buyer Ben O'Kane was among the most active volume buyers during the market, purchasing cattle for the company's Jindalee, NSW, feedlot.
David Maconohie, Hopkins River Feedlot, was another larger purchaser during the sale as was Peter Lee, buying for Garrison Cattle Feeders, Murray Downs, along with Mark Dwyer, G&K O'Connor Abattoir, who was representing a Riverina-based, NSW, feedlot.
Professional buyers including Jason Ronalds, JBS, Anthony Hullick, Westside Meat, John Collins, Gathercole Abattoir, and Andrew Corrigan, AMG, were also active.
Phelan & Henderson auctioneer Simon Henderson said the sale lacked interstate competition - compared to previous markets - including orders for restocking in central and northern NSW.
"There was another sale in a big centre today (Ballarat) which may have attracted those commission buyers to head that way but it hasn't made any difference to the values of the well-bred weaner stock," he said.
"You just had to work a little bit harder to get the result, so the bids weren't flowing as freely and that's due to a plateau in the market.
"The better end of the heavier cattle weren't making much more than what the weaner calves were making ... and normally that price difference in a dear market would be 100 cents a kilogram."
Elders Korumburra and Leongatha branch manager Rohan McRae said the sale compared well to previous markets.
"I would have thought after our last market with a large yarding ... we were surprised to have this number of cattle turn up again," Mr McRae said.
"The feedlot competition on 400-600kg cattle was very solid and then the restockers came in solidly under that."
Nutrien Leongatha livestock manager Brian McCormack described the sale as softer on recent markets largely due to a lower quality yarding.
"Everyone would be happy with their prices though," Mr McCormack said.
"We still had enough [feedlots] taking up the slack and some of the 400 kilogram cattle were making 380-400c/kg whereas in previous sales they were making up to 430c/kg."
Mr McCormack estimated about 60 per cent of the cattle sold were destined for feedlots while the remainder were purchased to go back into the paddock.
Meanwhile, SEJ LKD livestock agent Owen Kindellan said secondary cattle contributed to some prices easing, however, he was mostly pleased with the sale.
"The older steers were fully firm on last fortnight and while we had a more mixed yarding, there were still some very good runs of vendor-bred steers," Mr Kindellan said.
The first pen of steers (Herefords) sold by L and A Watt, Yarram, 488kg, made $1970 or 403c/kg.
Masuno Pty Ltd, Lang Lang, sold 15 steers, 490kg, for $2070 or 422c/kg.
J White, French Island, sold 15 steers, 294kg, for $1330 or 452c/kg.
P Califiore, Mirboo North, sold 17 steers, 265kg, for $1300 or 490c/kg.
B Whelan, Glengarry, sold 13 steers, 320kg, for $1370 or 428c/kg and a second pen of 10, 264kg, for $12550 or 464c/kg.
Comeragh, Leongatha North, sold the dearest pen with 11 steers, 542kg, for $2290 or 422c/kg.
D Lewis sold nine steers, 612kg, for $2220 or 362c/kg.
Jasmel Nominees, Tarwin Lower, sold 20 steers, 448kg, for $2010 or 448c/kg.
P Kyne, Childers, sold 10 steers, 294kg, for $1200 or 408c/kg.
Jim Dean, Rosedale, sold 13 steers, 262kg, for $1160 or 442c/kg.
Mirrabooka, Walkerville, sold 17 steers, 364kg, for $1480 or 406c/kg.
N and J Chandler, Welshpool, sold 16 steers, 302kg, for $1400 or 463c/kg and a second pen of 19, 263kg, for $1240 or 471c/kg.
Netherwood Pastoral Co, San Remo, sold 20 steers, 271kg, for $1320 or 487c/kg.
B Gracia, Stony Creek, sold 18 steers, 254kg, for $1240 or 488c/kg.
Burnley Properties, Main Ridge, sold 13 steers, 240kg, for $1140 or 475c/kg.
CA and JR Moore, Jack River, sold 20 Hereford steers, 312kg, for $1460 or 467c/kg.
In the heifers, D Macleod, Hedley, sold 12 heifers, 394kg, for $1640 or 416c/kg.
D Read, Tarraville, sold 10 heifers, 374kg, for $1460 or 390c/kg.
Mirrabooka, Walkerville, sold 12 heifers, 352kg, for $1420 or 403c/kg and a third pen of 21, 302kg, for $1240 or 410c/kg.
S and L Missen, Gormandale, sold 12 heifers, 394kg, for $1640 or 416c/kg.
Woolamai Lodge, Woolamai, sold 19 heifers, 245kg, for $800 or 326c/kg.
Have you signed up to Stock & Land's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's important to Victorian agriculture.