STEERS and heifers both cracked the $4 a kilogram mark at the first Strathalbyn cattle sale since August.
There was a yarding of 700 cattle, with light steers selling to $4.51/kg and light heifers selling to $4.07/kg.
Elders Strathalbyn’s Danny Reynolds said he expected to see numbers flowing for the next market on December 16, with more than 1000 cattle predicted.
“We can expect a lot of cattle to come out during the next two months,” he said.
“Quality is going to be very good because of the season we’ve had and weights are going to be up.
“Anyone looking to buy cheap steers will be waiting a long time.”
The standout pen was 19 March/April 2016-drop Charolais/Murray Grey cross steers, 263kg, from Raeburn Rural, Strathalbyn, which sold at $1185 or $4.51/kg.
Steers in the 250-300kg range consistently made more than $4/kg.
Raeburn Rural also sold 18 March/April 2016-drop Angus steers, 265kg, at $1160 or $4.38/kg, and another 19 at $4.36/kg.
RA&YG Hams, Kangaroo Island, sold nine Angus steers, 245kg, at $1060 or $4.33/kg.
JM Rankine sold 10 April/May 2016-drop Shorthorn-Red Poll steers, 261kg, at $1070 or $4.10/kg.
The same vendor sold 12 April/May Shorthorn-Red Poll steers, 297kg, at $1210 or $4.07/kg.
Raeburn Rural sold 14 March/April 2016-drop Charolais-Murray Grey steers, 300kg, at $1220 or $4.07/kg.
The highest price was $1390 or $3.38/kg for eight Angus steers, 411kg, from GN&CS Smith.
Landmark’s Richard Snoswell said high prices for light steers were to be expected, but he was surprised by the strength of heifers.
“We knew our light steers, less than 300kg, were probably going to make $4/kg but they made in excess of that,” he said.
“Once steers got up to 340-350kg they made about $3.60/kg, which is about the feedlot price.
“Our heifers were probably $50-100 more than we expected, especially on the lighter ones. Because it’s been such a good year they’re the harder ones to buy.”
Heifers made it past the $4/kg mark three times, with Raeburn Rural selling 20 May/April 2016-drop Angus heifers, 263kg, at $1070 or $4.07/kg. The same vendor also sold 15 Charolais-Murray Grey heifers, 252kg, at $1010 or $4.01/kg, and 14 March/April 2016-drop Charolais-Murray Grey heifers, 299kg, at $1120 or $3.75/kg.
JM Rankine sold 14 April/May 2016-drop Shorthorn-Red Poll heifers, 254kg, at $1030 or $4.05/kg, while LL&JD Fauser sold 12 heifers, 267kg, at $1000 or $3.75/kg.
The top price for heifers was $1220 or $3.45/kg for five Angus-Gelbvieh heifers, 354kg, from Mannanarie Stud.
Mr Snoswell said a lot of heifer buyers were prospective steer buyers, but had to change tactics because of the high demand.
“People are changing their tune a bit. Instead of putting steers in the paddock they’ll buy some heifers, mate them up and sell them next year as pregnancy-tested heifers,” he said.
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