Prices eased slightly across most classes of cattle at the final store sale for the year in Mount Gambier on Friday.
Numbers were up on last month, with 3529 head selling to mainly local graziers and only limited competition from regular feedlot buyers in attendance.
Green Triangle Livestock agent Chris Manser said the yarding was "extremely good quality over all breeds".
"Weaner steers sold exceptionally well, the bigger grown steers (were) not quite as dear as last market.
"Heifers also sold cheaper, making nowhere near the $3-plus a kilogram of last month. The very top end reaching $2.98/kg were a very good buying opportunity."
Landmark Mount Gambier's Jeff Olafsen said the market was erratic all the way through.
"Really well-bred cattle sold well, generally between $3.30/kg and $3.60/kg, but heavier steers in the first run sold for well under $3/kg," Mr Olafsen said.
He also said heifer rates were well below the previous store sale.
"Heifers with any weight sold cheaper, from $2.30-$2.50/kg, which was a complete contrast to last month where everything sold at excellent prices," he said. "It's a culmination of the fat market easing and the season winding back in the lead-up to Christmas."
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Angus steers weighing more than 450kg returned $2.82-$2.89/kg, while heavy coloured steers made $2.74-$3.23/kg.
Angus steers in the 360-450kg range made $2.79-$3.49/kg, those 320-360kg sold between $2.78-$3.62/kg, 280-320 Angus made $3.01-$3.92/kg, and lighter lots were $3.15-$3.43/kg.
In the coloured cattle, 360-450kg steers sold from $2.23-$3.32/kg, 320-360kg lots made $2.51-$3.41/kg, 280-320kg steers were $2.55-$3.30/kg and those under 280kg returned $2.95-$3.41/kg.
Five 533kg Hereford steers from Jake Tomkins, Casterton, Vic, made the top steer price of $1460 - equating to $2.74/kg - to RM Jones.
ST&J Hawke, Glencoe, sold 67, eight- to 10-month-old Stoney Point and Granite Ridge-blood Angus steers, weighing 373-283kg, to $1170, averaging $1147. Green Triangle Livestock paid $1110 or $3.92/kg for 19 of the Hawke family's 283kg steers.
Mandala, Kalangadoo, averaged $1206 across 63, 9-11mo Glatz Black Angus and Dollar Angus-blds. Their 382kg top draft sold at $1210 or $3.16/kg to Kaicowrie, Penola, through Pinkerton Palm Hamlyn & Steen.
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DL&MJ Trethewey, Kangaroo Island, sold 12 Angus steers, 423kg, at $1230 or $2.91/kg to Creek Livestock.
Nayook South, Allendale East, sold its annual draft of 103 European Union-accredited Hereford steers, weighing 296-364kg, for an av of $1054. The top draft were bought by Landmark Naracoorte at $1140 or $3.13/kg, with the remaining 80 snapped up by Leigh Kent, Canunda, through Southern Australian Livestock, av $1029.
Heifers above 450kg sold at rates of $2.33-$2.44/kg; 360-450kg heifers made $2-$2.73/kg; 320-360kg lots sold from $2.14-$3.02/kg; 280-320kg from $2.04-$2.98/kg; and under 280kg from $2.06-$2.74/kg.
Rangeview, Drik Drik, Vic, sold 35 Angus heifers, 443-467kg for an average of $1147. A draft of 19, av 443kg, made top heifer price of $1195, or $2.69/kg, to Garrison Feedlot.
Basin Banks, Muntham, Vic, sold 16 Yarram Park-bld Hereford heifers, 438kg, at $1100 or $2.51/kg to Landmark Mount Gambier's Jeff Olafsen.
SAL's Ian Flett paid $1110 or $2.69/kg for a draft of Angus-Speckle Park heifers, 413kg, from Churinga Park Pastoral, Glenroy.
A handful of cows with calves at-foot sold to $1290 for five Angus heifers with five Angus CAF from Oakland Park.
The first store market of 2020 will be held on Friday, January 10.
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