WEANER sellers should pocket some good returns in the coming weeks, but there are no expectations of extreme prices.
There will be about 5000 steers going under the hammer at Naracoorte tomorrow, followed by 1600 heifers on Friday.
Recent sales bode well for the auctions.
The Strathalbyn sale on Friday consisted mostly of weaners with well-bred steers weighing more than 300 kilograms averaging $2.90 a kilogram.
Mount Gambier combined agents have drawn in 4000 cattle for their monthly store sale on Friday next week, with lines of weaners on offer.
Thomas DeGaris & Clarkson director Darren Maney is hopeful the better end of the black, European Union-accredited steers will make $3/kg to $3.15/kg at Naracoorte this week.
“I think the majority of the steers will be in the $2.85/kg to $3/kg range,” he said.
“I’m hopeful heifers will make from $2.50/kg to $2.80/kg. It really is a feature sale and there will be marvellous calves to bid on.”
Southern Australian Livestock Naracoorte agent Mat MacDonald said most of the cattle his agency was offering were at similar weights to last year, after a good season.
“Hopefully there will be a fair amount of feedlot interest and some Gippsland, Vic, orders coming across,” he said.
Mr McDonald said SAL would be offering some bigger lines in the January sales.
“We’ve got a few guys who are happy to hold calves until after Christmas,” he said.
Mr McDonald said, considering where the prime job is at, $2.80/kg to $3/kg would be a realistic expectation for steers and $2.50/kg to $2.70/kg for heifers.
“I think there’s going to be some good buying opportunities, especially on lighter heifers,” he said.
Pinkerton Palm Hamlyn & Steen director Robin Steen said the top-end of his agency’s offering would be in the 380-420kg range.
“For people that have been selling their bullocks, and getting about $2000 a steer, they should have some money in their pockets to spend,” he said.
“If NSW had a good 50 millimetres of general rain, I could see prices going up by $50, but unfortunately the rains haven’t been general enough at this point of time.”
Mr Steen said there could be some outstanding opportunities for buyers.
“If you’re buying a steer for $1000 and selling bullocks at $2000, that rollover is as good as I think you’re ever going to get,” he said.
LUCINDALE producer Steve Smith, SA&GE Smith, Lakala, will offer 220 February to April-drop European Union-accredited steers at the Naracoorte weaner sale tomorrow.
Mr Smith will also be offering heifers in the new year sale.
“I’m predominantly on Hazeldean bloodlines, and have been for about 20 years,” he said.
“I’ve also been selling at the Naracoorte weaner sales for a similar period.
“I find if you can get the larger lines of cattle in for the sale, you tend to get the repeat buyers.”
Mr Smith runs about 600 Angus breeders.
In last year’s December weaner sale at Naracoorte, Mr Smith sold 154 EU Angus steers to $1278, averaging $1191.
On the back of favourable conditions, Mr Smith is happy with how his weaners have come up this year.
“I’m hoping the higher end will make around the $3 a kilogram mark,” he said.
Thomas DeGaris & Clarkson agent Hayden Lambert said Lakala had a good following.
“There are a number of buyers that come back each year just to buy Steve’s cattle, because they know they’re proven in what they can do,” he said.
Mr Lambert expects most of the buyers to be from southern areas this year.
“In other years, lighter cattle might have gone north, but I expect most cattle will stay south this year, with the way the season has been,” he said. “But, you could get the top-end weights go to Teys for their feedlots.”
TDC director Darren Maney is hoping to see buyers from the Gippsland region in Vic and expects to see strong support from across the South East.
“I’d like to see some NSW buying support, but I think it’s a bit too early, I don’t think there’s been enough rain over there yet,” he said.
TDC will have good numbers in the January sales, with some clients aiming to get more weight in their cattle after a positive season.