Steers reach 644c/kg at Casterton

Hereford steer prices skyrocket at Casterton weaner sale

Victorian Weaner Sales
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Hereford steers average 525c/kg at Casterton.

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Buyers joked sales must have been converted to dollars per head after prices skyrocketed at the Hereford steer weaner sale at Casterton last week.

Agents yarded 1080 head for an average price of 525 cents a kilogram.

Elders Casterton livestock manager Sam Broomby said the prices were "off the planet".

"I just chatted to a fella and his average is $700 up on last year," Mr Broomby said.

"Anywhere from probably $550 to $700 on an average up on last year, which is insane.

"I don't know if we'll see it again but it's incredible to think how much these calves are making."

He said European Union-accredited cattle continued to fetch up to 15c/kg more on the heavier lines but there was no difference in the lighter weights.

"We didn't have many cattle over 360kg, they were from 485-500c/kg," he said.

"Cattle from 320-360kg were 510-530c/kg.

"Cattle from 220-320kg were anywhere from 620-560c/kg."

Shallum Holdings kicked off the sale with a pen of 20 at 395kg for 481c/kg or $1899 a head.

Rosebank sold a pen of 14 at 398kg for 482c/kg or $1918, while Glenaulin sold 23 at 413kg, which fetched 454c/kg or $1875.

Taronga sold 36 at 330kg for 525c/kg or $1732 and Village View sold 16 at 337kg for 510c/kg or $1718.

The final pens drew some fierce bidding and the gallery was incredulous as Karingal sold a pen of seven steers at 209kg for 644c/kg or $1346.

Strathlea sold four at 215kg for 622c/kg or $1337, while Shallum Holdings sold a pen of 16 at 228kg for 612c/kg or $1395.

Woranga sold a pen of eight at 234kg for 622c/kg or $1455.

Nutrien Casterton livestock manager Greg Bright said the quality of cattle on offer was good, although the calves did not quite make the weights agents were expecting to see.

Mr Bright said there was a range of buyers, from as far as Queensland and NSW to South Australia and Gippsland.

"I didn't think it would be as dear as it is to be honest," he said.

"I've never seen it before and I reckon I've been in it a while, but it's extraordinary.

"Not a beast under $1000 anywhere, and most would be $1200 plus."

Mr Broomby said it remained to be seen whether the prices seen at the weaner sales would be sustainable into the future.

"It's only sustainable as long as the finishers are getting the price out the other end," he said.

"As long as everyone's making a dollar, it'll stay sustainable... it all rides on that."

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