Steers to $1687, av $1298
PRICES held up reasonably well at the Naracoorte combined agents' monthly store cattle sale on Thursday under the COVID-19 uncertainty, with most steers making $3.60/kg plus.
With about 2500 head of steers and heifers drawn for the agents made a call to limit the sale to steers only.
This reduced the yarding to 1490 head and enabled the cattle to be penned in every second pen throughout the yards, ensuring the required social distancing protocols were easily upheld.
Pinkerton Palm Hamlyn & Steen's Ashley Braun said he was "extremely nervous" prior to the sale with an absence of the regular major feedlotters but were "rapt" with the result.
"When there are only four or five people standing in front of a pen it can be a bit nerve wracking but you only need a couple of people for an auction and that is what happened," he said.
He said about 60 per cent of the yarding headed to northern and central NSW with buyer Duncan Brown having multiple orders, Landmark Jamestown and Hardwicks Meat also strong, along with orders from local South East finishers
Mr Braun said in PPH&S's run - which comprised 948 of the yarding - grown steers (440 to 530kg) made $1440 to $1600.
Their heavy end weaners (370kg to 430kg) made $1400-$1470, equating to $3.60/kg to $3.80/kg, while 300kg to 350kg steers made $1210 to $1380, equating to $3.85/kg to $3.95/kg.
The 220kg to 280kg steers made $3.75/kg to $4/kg.
"With no Teys, Princess Royal or Ravensworth operating on the big feeder cattle we were well and truly expecting $3.10/kg to $3.30/kg, but with four or five buyers the sale rocked along," he said.
"It was where we were hoping it might be with $3.70/kg to $3.90/kg on most of the cattle."
Topping the sale at $1687 were 14 Angus from LT&JT Wilson, Penola, which made $3.60/kg.
The 468kg steers sold to Schubert Boers.
A pen of ten milk and two tooth Shorthorn steers, 507kg, from Mossdale, Lucindale, made $1600.
Arthur Facey Pty Ltd, Millicent, had an outstanding draft of 130 Simmental-Poll Hereford, March/April 2019-drop steers with the top 31 weighing 431kg, making $1530.
The 29 seconds made $1480 to Thomas DeGaris&Clarkson Penola.
Hislop Nominees, Stewart Range, sold 42 June and July 2019-drop Angus.
The first 21 weighing 383kg made $1460 , while the same number in the second pen weighing 353kg made $1380.
European Union accredited steers sold particularly well including 60 May/June 2019-drop Pathfinder bloods from Moyle Pastoral, Millicent.
They sold to $1400 for 36 weighing 388kg to AJF O'Brien & Sons, Coonamble, NSW, while the seconds weighing 345kg made $1370 to Miller Whan & John Mount Gambier.
Morundah Trust, Bool Lagoon, received $3.94/kg for 20 August 2019-drop Angus steers weighing 321kg, or $1265, bought by MWJ.
TDC director Darren Maney said at the start of the week many feared the sale could have been a "disaster" but it was a "very fair" result.
Taking February out of the equation the sale was 30c/kg better than anything in January.
"Cattle still made good money, in the good pens of heavier steers there was nothing under $3.60/kg and if they were black and EU and in the spot they were $3.70/kg or more," he said.
"Taking February out of the equation the sale was 30c/kg better than anything in January."
Mr Maney said it was testament to the participants in the SE meat industry and especially the agents all working together that the sale was able to proceed.
"It was a gutsy call to have to tell clients they could only sell steers when clients were looking to offload as many as possible in this uncertain climate but everyone abided by the rules," he said.
"The logic to sell every second pen meant there were only four buyers in the race and everyone was able to follow along from a safe distance."
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