RESTOCKERS and graziers from across the South East and Western District of Vic were out in force at Mount Gambier's monthly store cattle sale on Friday, with bids coming thick and fast for a modest yarding of cattle.
Numbers were down slightly in a typical winter yarding, with only 1452 head offered due to recent inclement weather and rough conditions, which forced a number of producers to withdraw their nominated cattle, unable to get trucks in.
Prices kicked significantly, with Landmark Mount Gambier Jeff Olafsen estimating an increase in steer prices of 50 cents a kilogram to 60c/kg compared with the June store market, making it the best result for some months.
"Heifers sold from to $2.80/kg up to $3/kg-plus, where lately, they've been struggling to make $2.20-$2.30/kg," he said.
"There looks to be a shortage of store cattle on the horizon, and with an improving fat market and recent general rain in the area, confidence is up and all these factors contributed to the very buoyant prices."
Heavy steers weighing more than 450kg sold from $2.37-$3.48/kg, those 360-450kg made $2.89-$3.49/kg, and steers from 320-360kg sold at $2.92-$3.49/kg.
Lighter (weighed) steers from 280-320kg sold from $3.04 to $3.87/kg, while (weighed) steers under 280kg made $2.06-$3.52/kg.
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Redgums, Nelson, Vic, sold 13 Angus-cross steers, 494kg, for a sale-topping $1710 or $3.46/kg to Teys Australia, destined for their Charlton, Vic, feedlot. Its second draft of 14 Angus steers, 465kg, made $1620 or $3.48/kg to Thomas Foods International.
Teys Australia bought 81 steers, including 12, 362kg Pathfinder-blood Angus from AJ&MS Reichelt, OB Flat, at $1260 or $3.48/kg; nine Boonaroo-bld Angus, 324kg, offered by Killarnie, Mingbool, at $1090 or $3.36/kg; six 452kg Limousins at $1330 or $2.94/kg from JM Richardson, Compton, and 14 Granite Ridge-bld Angus steers, 320kg, at $1080 or $3.37/kg from JR&KM Peel, Mount Benson.
Nangkita, Eight Mile Creek, sold 53, 12-month-old Nampara-bld Pasturefed Cattle Assurance System-eligible Angus steers, weighing 313-348kg, to TFI averaging $1151. Its 348kg top draft sold at $1180 or $3.39/kg.
With spring just around the corner, there's an increased confidence in the market.
TFI bought 106 steers in total, including two 12-14mo Angus, 533kg, from Gunyah, Wandilo, at $1700 or $3.19, 17 Nampara-bld Angus, 364kg at 12mo, at $1270 or $3.49/kg from Morella, Wallacedale, Vic, nine 349kg Angus-crosses offered by Regent's Gate, Heathmore, Vic, at $1200 or $3.44/kg, and 24 Angus steers weighing 349-373kg from Bushy Park, Dergholm, Vic, av $1179.
Parkdale South, Nelson, sold 44 Bushy Park-bld Angus steers av $953, with the 302kg top draft making $1170 or $3.87/kg to Miller Whan & John, Kingston.
Fellow Nelson vendor Pepa Hill sold 14, 16mo, PCAS Sterita Park-bld Angus steers, 339kg, at $1140 or $3.36/kg to Scott Creek Livestock, which also bought 13 PCAS Hereford steers,337kg, at $1150 or $3.41/kg from Shiloh Park, Mount Gambier.
Kryburn Pastoral, Wandilo, sold 9 YoHo-bld Poll Hereford steers, weighing 448kg at 12-14mo, at $1470 or $3.28/kg and a 410kg second draft at $1380 or $3.37/kg, with both going to Scott Creek Livestock.
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Wirey Swamp, Casterton, Vic, sold 11 Boonaroo-bld 308kg Angus steers at $1060 or $3.44/kg and a 250kg second draft at $880 or $3.52/kg to Miller Whan & John.
GT Trading, Lucindale, sold eight Hereford steers, 316kg, at $1040 or $3.29/kg to Elders Lucindale, with a 278kg second draft making $970 or $3.49/kg to Southern Grampians Livestock.
The 185 cows with calves at-foot offered included a dispersal of Angus cows with Angus CAF from Highbury Trading (property sold), Mumbannar, Vic. Its 102, four to eight-year-old Angus cows with March/April-drop Angus CAF and running back to an Angus bull av $1521. The top draft of 4-5yos sold to Green Triangle Livestock at $1750.
Nangkita sold five Angus first-calvers with 5 Angus CAF, running back with Nampara Angus bulls, at $1625 to Southern Grampians Livestock, with a second draft selling at $1575 to Landmark Millicent.
Heifers weighing 360-450kg sold from $2.66-$3.18/kg; 320-360kg heifers sold from $2.74-$3.19/kg; 280-320kg from $2.82-$3.04/kg; and under 280kg from $2.04-$2.87/kg.
Clients who braved the weather to send cattle in were paid back in spades.
N&M McIntyre, Worrolong, sold 12 Angus-cross heifers, weighing 359kg at 12mo, at $1140 or $3,18/kg to Scott Creek Livestock.
Greengully sold 16 Pathfinder-bld Angus-crosses, 313kg at 12-15mo, at $950 or $3.04/kg to TFI, which also bought 21 Granite Ridge-bld Angus, 329kg, at $1030 or $3.13/kg from JG&CK Clarke, Kingston SE.
Regent's Gate sold 10 Angus-crosses, 347kg, at $1120 or $3.13/kg to Scott Creek Livestock; Parkdale South sold 16 Bushy Park-bld Angus heifers, 284kg, at $860 or $3.03/kg to Miller Whan & John, and Reg Edwards & Son, Mount Schank, sold 26 Hereford heifers, 329kg, at $1050 or $3.19/kg to TFI.
Southern Australian Livestock's Ian Flett said the sale was a "good kick along".
"With spring just around the corner, there's an increased confidence in the market," he said. "Clients who braved the weather to send cattle in were paid back in spades."