Tale of two markets

Tale of two markets

Studstock
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Sale numbers are set to surge in south-west, while yardings begin to tighten elsewhere.

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Greg and Helen Miles, Goulburn Valley
Wines, Metcalfe, were in the market at
Kyneton for a pen of replacement steers,
but expressed surprise at the high prices.

Greg and Helen Miles, Goulburn Valley Wines, Metcalfe, were in the market at Kyneton for a pen of replacement steers, but expressed surprise at the high prices.

While store cattle supplies have started to tighten in some areas, agents in other parts of Victoria are predicting larger numbers will start coming through.

Buyers are starting to travel long distances to pick up suitable cattle, with Delaney Livestock & Property owner Anthony Delaney, Pakenham, buying stock at Warrnambool last week for Gippsland backgrounders.

Read more: Warrnambool cows and calves to $4150

JJ Kelly livestock agent Jack Kelly, Warrnambool, said cattle in the area were becoming scarce.

"There were plenty of people trying to buy cattle at the store sale but I don't think they found many - they'll have to front up again next month," Mr Kelly said.

"The weather system dumped anything between 40-50 millimetres right through the area here, and it's going to make for a wonderful season.

"I grew up with my dad, who was on the land, and he said 'lad, you rarely get two good seasons in a row' and we have got three."

He said anyone fortunate to have cattle was only too happy to sell.

"It was a pleasure to sell, now we are starting to get into spring steers and heifers, which are getting onto a bit of feed and a bit of sun," he said.

"Weaner cattle are starting to come forward and looking extremely well."

Western Victoria Livestock Exchange agents' association president Matt Baxter said large numbers were expected to be booked in at the next Mortlake store sale.

Read more:Quality Mortlake weaner heifers to 774c/kg, steers to 756c/kg

"I would imagine there would be 5000 head," Mr Baxter said.

"I think a lot of people might have held their cattle for this sale.

"The December sale will also be a fair size and then we'll be into the weaner sales."

He said feedlots were expected to continue to pursue stock ranging from 300-350 kilograms to put on grass.

"Their 360kg steers and heifers they are feeding, but a few of them are buying those restocker calves and putting them onto grass," he said.

He said he didn't expect any let up in supply or demand.

"Everywhere is having a good season and there is strength in the north," he said.

Sharp Fullgrabe livestock agent Graeme Fullgrabe, Bairnsdale, said rain had seen unbelievable grass growth.

Read more:

"There are that many people going to make hay, it's going to be coming out of their ears," he said.

"Each week we have seen store cattle at $100 a head dearer.

"The most disturbing thing is we are seeing the prime cattle are cheaper and cheaper, everything is easing back a little bit."

He said because producers couldn't buy stores, they were putting extra weight into their cattle.

"People who wanted to buy cattle for $1000 have had to raise their sights to $1500, those on $1500 went to $2000, those on $2000 went to $2500 and those cattle are going to $3000," he said.

"There's a lot of cattle in the paddock now, which have a pretty hefty price tag on their head, that's the worrying thing."

He said at Bairnsdale on Friday, producers who could not buy steers bought heifers.

"At the prime sale, we were selling dairy and beef cows, anything heavier was coming to the store sale," he said.

"We struggled to yard 200-300 cattle at the prime market - probably a third of the cattle went to the store sale."

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