THE result of the opening Naracoorte weaner steer sale today exceeded price predictions made earlier this week, after the section topped at $1640 for Speckle Park steers.
About 4500 steers were yarded at Naracoorte Regional Livestock Exchange today and South East livestock agents said prices well- exceeded their expectations.
Elders Naracoorte's run offered 2600 head of cattle and livestock agent Ronnie Dix said most pens sold "well-above expectations".
"The top price pen was a surprise. The Speckle Park breed is still finding its way and it is a bit of novelty, but the quality was outstanding," he said.
"The proven cattle sold very well and despite being some lows in the sale, prices were great.
"Today's sale was proof that there is still plenty of well-bred cattle on the market but it also showed the amount of top quality cattle is about to run out."
It was about half way through Elders Naracoorte run that the James family, WV James & Son, Lucindale, made the $1640 or $4.19 a kilogram, top price for their 18 391-kilogram 18 April/May 2019-drop Speckle Park steers.
The $1610 or $4.63/kg second-highest price was also made by the James', for 23 Speckle Park steers that weighed 347kg, with both pens sold to Thomas Foods International buyer Matt Heinrich.
Elders also offered 20 February/March 2019-drop Simmental/Poll Herefords from LS Johnson & Son, Springbank, that made $1405 or $3.72/kg and were sold to Princess Royal, Burra.
The same vendor made $1400 or $3.66/kg for 17 382kg Simmental/Poll Hereford steers that were sold to Elders Millicent.
Pinkerton Palm Hamlyn & Steen's run offered 15 521kg Bull Oak Well-blood Angus steers from Kennella that made $1500 or 2.87/kg.
The same vendor also made $1390 or $3.18/kg for 22 steers that weighed 436kg, with both pens sold to Thomas De Garis & Clark, Penola.
P&K Bryson made $1350 or $3.53/kg for 14 Coolana/Stoney Point-blds that weighed 382kg.
PPH&S Naracoorte livestock agent Ray Jaensch said prices were 20 to 30 cents a kilogram dearer than expected.
"It was clear black Angus European accredited steers sold extremely well to the feedlotters," he said.
"Despite a late start to the season, cattle are of equal quality when compared with past seasons."
Landmark Naracoorte offered S&R DiGiorgio & Sons' line of cattle that made $1411 or $3.36/kg for 13 February/March 2019-drop Sterita Park-bld Angus steers, 420kg, and were sold to Princess Royal.
The same vendor made $1340 or $3.61/kg for 97 Sterita Park-blds that weighed 371.3kg.
Landmark Naracoorte livestock manager Brendan Fitzgerald said initially, he thought prices would reach $3.10/kg to $3.40/kg but it "went well above that".
"Sterita Park bloodlines were popular in the Landmark run and EU calves helped prices - those cattle were sought after by TFI and Princess Royal," he said.
"Coloured cattle made between $2.90/kg to $3.20 which is where prices needed to be."
Coronary Park made $1215 or $3.24/kg for 16 March/April 2019-drop Sterita Park-blds, 375.3kg, that were offered through Southern Australian Livestock.
Egel Partnership made $1136 or $3.13/kg for 5 Angus steers, 359kg, that were sold to Spence, Dix & Co.
The two-day weaner market will conclude tomorrow with the sale of 2500 heifers from 9am.