SUMMARY: 2980 HEAD
FEEDER STEER: Avg 337c/kg (EYCI rating +52 points)
STEERS: 450-550KG $1350-$1790, AV 338C/KG; 360-450KG $1080-$1575, AV 337C/KG; 280-360KG: $940-$1280, AV 344C/KG; 200-280KG: $700-$1020. HEIFERS: +360KG $1220-$1340, AV 317/KG; 280-360KG; $800-$1090, AV 3296C/KG; 200-280KG: $450-$850, AV 315C/KG.
VIDEO: Murray Arnel’s livestream of the August 16 Ballarat sale, courtesy of Shanahans Livestock Transport
RESTOCKER buyers from both the east and west of southern Victoria and interstate in South Australia were keen for store cattle at Ballarat on Friday.
Competing across a much larger yarding than the centre’s month-earlier market, prices achieved for steers varied from fully firm to 15 cents a kilogram easier while demand for heifers to feed rose by 10c/kg or $30 to $40 a head.
The yarding of 2868 (1600 more than the July market) offered a broad range of quality and of various age, with a good number of which displayed the signs of the southwest’s very wet and cold winter.
Landmark’s Xavier Shanahan said the pattern of demand over sales since April had seen cattle with weight and finish selling best (Click below to view Murray Arnel’s interview with Xavier Shanahan).
“It doesn’t take much of a steer, these days, to make $1200” he said.
“But those offering the extra weight and finish required by the feeders has seen their values rise quickly to $1400, with the heaviest making $1600 to $1800”.
TB White and Sons ’Tom Madden said this was especially the case for the better finished heifers which sold to dearer rates than in the smaller month-earlier July market.
“It was a very good sale” said Mr Madden. “The heaviest of the grown steers were dearer in my opinion while the lighter feeders were at best only firm and the light cattle, of which there were plenty, were definitely cheaper” he said.
Graeme Nicholson, Elders, said while the expanded restocker inquiry from the east and the west of the state was welcomed there wasn’t a lot of surplus grass growing in local paddocks.
“I suggest it’ll be at least another month before we begin taking calls from our locals to buy cattle, he said. And when we do I suspect the market will find another level”.
A great example of this month’s more varied demand was a large line of 150 Angus steers prepared in northern Victoria by D. Bergamin of Waaia.
These were sold over five drafted pens with the lead yard of 23, 487kg, made $1710 a head.
The line’s second draft pen of 44, 444kg, made $1575 while a third pen of 27, 411kg, made $1470 and a fourth yard of 30, 384kg, $1340.
The market’s top-priced sale was a yard of 26 Angus, 582kg, sold at $1850 a head.
These were offered by D Minns of Apollo Bay while the Estate of Stan Hamilton trading as Warrak (near Ararat) sold, at $1780, a yard of 15 Angus weighed at 528kg.
Kerang-based vendor, Mountain Top was another seller to collect handsome results in the plus-350c/kg bracket on a draft of Angus that had had 50 fays of grain-feeding.
The lead of the Mountain Top steers – a yard of 14, 453kg, made $1590 while the line’s second pen of 28, 403kg, made $1450
A third yard of the Mountain View calves– 26 weighed at 370kg – made $1380 for a top of the market rate of 372c/kg.
A small representation of white-faced steers also met steady demand.
Nebpak Enterprises of Newlyn sold 12 Hereford steers, 493kg at $1500, Inverall Farms, Stoneleigh, cleared 23 Herefords, 348kg, at $1200 while NRIA Beef, Geelong collected $1100 for a pen of 11, 364kg.
Sales of other breeds included yards of Murray Grey steers – 24, 371kg sold at $1230 by Warrak while vendor, Alandale, Wal Wal, also cleared 15 Murray Grey, 431kg, sold at $1420.
A line of vendor-bred Shorthorn steers, offered by K & R Wells of Mt Egerton, sold well on weight and age, with their lead pen of 10, 311kg, sold at $1040 while a second pen of 23, 283kg, realised $940.
Other larger lines of lighter Angus steers to draw the attention of restockers and feeders alike included a pen of 41, 378kg sold at $1340 by Warrak, and a second pen of 21, 357kg, by the same vendor, sold at $1220.
Claymore of Darlington, sold 22 Angus, 356kg, at $1280 while Ben Nevis sold 17 Angus, 365kg, at $1240.
A JC Stevens-yard of 24 Angus, 299kg made $1100 while a second pen of 35 Claymore Angus steers, 293kg, was cleared also at the same money.
A third yard of (unweighed) Claymore Angus, estimated at 265-270kg, made $980 while numerous lots of lighter unweighed steers- mostly Angus- made $700- $900… most of these estimated in the 180 to 210kg weight ban.
As mentioned, the market for well-grown heifers met keen feeder inquiry pushed along by several determined grass-finisher orders emulating from the SA-border region.
This dual-edged demand saw the vast majority of heifers in plus-280kg range sell from 290 to 315c/kg, with many of the heavier and more advanced-in-condition bridging 320c/kg and up to 325c/kg.
Among the better sales were two yards of Angus by Alpha Pastoral, Stoneleigh. Weighed to 417kg these (pen of 23) were bid to $1340 while a second yard of 19, 382kg made $1220.
Central Ag sold 10 Angus, 463kg, at the market top of $1510 while Windsor Family Trust collected $1260 or 326c/kg for a yard of six Angus weighed at 388kg as a large of the better presented yards drew prices between $900 and $1250 a head.
However also included was a sizeable representation of light heifers “water-affected” and reflecting the tough season.
These were sold at reduced rates to the July market with most sold in the $450 to $750 price range.