THE Naracoorte Regional Livestock Exchange was bursting at the seams, with 4216 head yarded for the opening weaner sale of the season, on Thursday last week.
Prices were back $150- $200 a head on early in the year but cushioning the fall was the tremendous weight for age – a reflection of the stellar South East season.
The average weight of the yarding was 375 kilograms.
The average rate was $3.19/kg, equating to $1194 a head.
Only five pens made less than $1000 a head.
In comparison in 2016, 4010 steers averaged $1352.
MD Graetz and VA Stone, Lucindale, topped the sale at $1495 with 25 spring 2016 drops which weighed 476.2 kilograms.
Just one bid less, BJ&K Martin, Penola, sold 21 465kg Angus at $1490 to Thomas Foods International.
An outstanding run of 235 February-March 2017 drop Simmental-Hereford steers from LS Johnson & Son’s Springbank property, Naracoorte, kicked off the sale.
The best of their Simmental/Hereford-Angus steers weighing 413kg made $1375 to Thomas DeGaris & Clarkson, Penola, while the highest priced Simmental-Herefords made $1350.
Overall Springbank’s calves, averaging 366 kilograms, averaged $1250.
A consignment of 287 EU Angus, Murray Grey and Angus-Simmental from GT Fisher, Clover Ridge Pastoral, Marcollat, also sent bids flying, topping at $1270 and averaging $1158.
Major buyers included Landmark International who bought 356 head and Gippsland agent SEJ Leongatha bought nearly 300 head, while locally Princess Royal Station, Burra, bought 224 head and Creek Livestock, Mount Gambier, bought 200.
Naracoorte combined agents chairman and Elders Naracoorte branch manager Tom Dennis said vendors were “very happy” with the result, describing it as $30 to $50 better than expected.
“You are never sure how the first one will go but after Euroa (Vic) the previous day the strong results flowed through,” he said.
Mr Dennis said there would be a huge yarding in the first week of January, expecting 4500 steers and 2500 heifers.
“Some people are talking they will have 30 to 40 per cent of their calves over 400 kilograms. We will see the heaviest yarding of weaners in the history of the saleyards.”
Landmark Naracoorte livestock manager Brendan Fitzgerald said buyers exercised some caution on steer buying but bidding for heifers were much free flowing.
“Feedlots and some other blokes have been wounded in the last 12 months so are more cautious, but it was solid for where the fat job is” he said.
“Cows with calves, pregnant heifers and even young heifers are seen as a safer bet.”
Other vendors to shine
P&K Bryson, Keppoch: 252 EU Angus steers to $1370 av $1221
SA&GE Smith, Lucindale : 154 EU Angus steers to $1278 av $1191
GC&EA Skeer, Furner: 84 Angus steers to av $1272
JT&GM McKay, Lucindale: 115 Angus, Angus cross and Angus-Simmental-Hereford steers to $1340 av $1247
BT& E Ling, Mount Benson: 81 Angus steers to $1360 av $1227
KR&RA Sherriff & Sons, Keith: 95 Angus and black baldy steers to $1205 av $1120 and 83 heifers to $1055 av $986