1091 steers to $2180
6934 heifers to $1910
15 cows with calves to $2340
30 PTIC females to $2380
THE word 'unprecedented' has being bandied around a fair bit in 2020, but at last Friday's store sale at Mount Gambier, it was an apt description, with cattle prices on fire across all classes.
Steer prices were up on last month's sale by about 15 cents a kilogram for the heavier steers, to an extreme 80c/kg increase in the lighter weight range.
Heavy Angus steers 450kg-plus sold from $4.01/kg to $4.47/kg; coloured steers 450kg-plus sold from $3.38-$4.22/kg; Angus steers from 360-450kg made from $4.18-$4.62/kg; coloured steers 360-450kg sold from $4.21-$4.55/kg. Angus steers from 320-360kg sold from $3.95-$5.17/kg, while coloured steers in the same weight range, made $4.08-$4.85/kg.
Lighter Angus steers 280-320kg sold from $4.86-$5.56/kg, coloured steers in this weight range made to $5.22/kg; Angus steers under 280kg sold from $5.04-$5.96/kg and coloured steers under 280kg made from $4.98-$5.38/kg
The feedlotters came out swinging this month, after the October market where they were outperformed by restockers.
Danny Saunders, Swan Hill, Vic, for Garrison Feedlot, dominated the bidding early, buying 179 steers weighing from 350-450kg, including 25 Pasturefed Certified Assurance Scheme-eligible Pathfinder-blood Angus and Angus-cross steers, av 476kg, at $2130 or $4.47/kg sold by Calcarb, Digby, Vic; five Angus steers from AG Childs, Glencoe, averaging 529kg, at $2120 or $4.01/kg and five PCAS-eligible Angus and Angus-cross steers, av 488kg, at $2090 or $4.28/kg sold by Tyrone, Hamilton, Vic.
The top dollars per head of $2180 or $4.28/kg was paid by Schubert Boers for 14 Angus-cross steers, av 509kg at 16 months-old, sold by BJ&MJ Gordon Trust, Kongorong.
Gordon Trust sold a second draft av 460kg at $2000 or $4.35/kg to Garrison Feedlot.
Ian Perryman, Mount Gambier, buying steers for Hopkins River Feedlot, Geelong, Vic, went hard early as well, securing 76 Angus and Angus-cross steers from 320-400kg, including 13 Angus steers, av 338kg at 9-10mo, at $1600 or $4.73/kg sold by Reirag, Milltown Vic; and 13 PCAS-eligible pure Pathfinder-bld Angus steers, av 380kg at 7-9mo, at $1750 or $4.61/kg sold by Kumara SE, Mount Gambier.
DG&CM Johnston, Mount Gambier, sold PCAS-eligible Lindsay-bld Murray Grey steers, av 588kg at 16-17mo, at $2160 or $3.67/kg to Creek Livestock, Mount Gambier, who also bought six 17mo PCAS-eligible Hereford steers av 538kg at $2100 or $3.90/kg sold by DJ&WA Loughhead, Worrolong, Vic, and nine 12mo Angus-cross steers av 482kg at $2020 or $4.19/kg sold by Wandilo Park, Wandilo.
Bieran Beef, Moorak, sold 22 Hereford and Shorthorn steers, weighing 347-553kg, for an average of $1772. Their top draft of 17mo Hereford steers av 553kg sold at $2150 or $3.89/kg to Creek Livestock.
Moyall Pastoral, Naracoorte, sold 52 PCAS-eligible April/May 2019-drop Angus steers, weighing 446-462kg for an average of $1985, with their top draft weighing 462kg selling to Thomas Foods International at $2030 or $4.39/kg.
Feedlotters are concerned about supply and had to compete with restockers who all have a surplus of grass.
The lighter weaner steers made the biggest prices.
The top c/kg price of $5.96/kg went to 13 PCAS-eligible Granite Ridge-bld Angus steers sold by GJ Robinson and R Vaughan, Homerton, Vic, av 228kg at $1360 to Dean Hampel; while a heavier draft av 288kg sold to A&S McDonald at $5.56/kg or $1600.
Tuscanna, West Avenue, sold 44 Angus steers, 12-14mo weighing 235-270kg, for an average of $1500, all bought by Southern Australian Livestock. Their top draft av 270kg sold at $1530 or $5.67/kg, while a lighter draft av 235kg sold at $1400 or the equal top c/kg price of $5.96/kg.
S&K Higgs, Port Macdonnell, sold 16 Stoney Point-bld Angus steers, av 261kg at 10-12mo, at $1510 or $5.79/kg to Creek Livestock.
LK Ling, Mount Benson, sold 24 February/March-drop Sterita Park-bld Angus steers, av 277kg, at $1550 or $5.60/kg to Thomas DeGaris & Clarkson, Penola.
Ansta Park, Heywood, Vic, sold 17 Boonaroo-bld Angus steers, weighing 271kg, at $1500 or $5.54/kg to SAL Naracoorte; and a heavier draft av 314kg at $1590 or $5.06/kg to local restockers Caicowrie, Wattle Range.
T&P Uphill, Mount Gambier, sold 38 Lindsay-bld PCAS-eligible Murray Grey steers, weighing 260-328kg at 8-10mo, for an average of $1508; and a draft av 260kg sold at $1400 or $5.38/kg to Elders Millicent on behalf of M&J Osborne, Millicent.
Dale Keatley, Nutrien Keatley, Mount Gambier, said the sale was "completely grass and supply driven".
"Feedlotters are concerned about supply and had to compete with restockers who all have a surplus of grass," he said.
He said the effects of the drought are now coming home to roost, the sale of breeder cattle during the dry playing a big factor in lack of numbers along with an increased demand for product, particularly during COVID-19.
Mr Keatley said he had plenty of orders for steers to fill, from clients with $4.50/kg to spend, but didn't manage to get a look in and went home empty handed.
HEIFERS KEEP UP WITH THE BOYS
HEIFER prices were as strong as the steers across most categories, making to a top dollars per head price of $1910 or $3.58/kg for two PCAS-eligible Charolais-cross heifers av 533kg from AG Childs, Glencoe.
The only heifer category which had no massive increase were the heavier heifers 450kg-plus, which sold on par with the October sale, from $3.58-$3.86/kg.
The others showing increases of 10-80c/kg were 360-450kg classes selling from $3.72-$4.28/kg; 320-360kg heifers made $4.10-$4.66/kg; 280-320kg heifers sold from $4.15-$5.11/kg; heifers under 280kg sold from $4.38-$5.89/kg.
Garrison Feedlot bought 36 heifers, including five Angus heifers, av 491kg at 18mo, at $1880 or $3.83/kg and five Limousin-cross heifers, av 421kg at 15mo, at $1680 or $3.99/kg sold by Midway.
TFI bought 10 European Union-accredited Injemira and Woonallee-bld Hereford/Simmental heifers av 431kg at $1790 or $4.15/kg and a lighter draft av 348kg at $1550 or $4.45/kg sold by Alva Downs, Merino Vic, as well as 10 Hereford heifers av 489kg at $1850 or $3.78/kg from Beerick Partnership, Coleraine, Vic.
Allisford Enterprises, Beachport, sold 13 Angus heifers av 335kg at $1560 or $4.66/kg to Elders Mount Gambier.
Tuscanna made the top c/kg price with 22 PCAS-eligible Angus heifers, av 246kg at 12-14mo, selling at $5.89/kg or $1450 to SAL, who also bought their lighter 229kg draft at $1300 or $5.68/kg.
Every month, prices are managing to climb to another level.
E&K Brooks, Kalangadoo, sold 10 PCAS-eligible Angus heifers, av 243kg at 8-10mo, at $1330 or $5.47/kg to Elders Mount Gambier; while S&K Higgs sold nine Sterita Park-bld Angus heifers av 252kg at $1360 or $5.40/kg to Elders Mount Gambier.
Elders Albury, NSW, bought 36 heifers from 275-330kg, including five Pathfinder-bld Angus heifers, av 276kg at 7-9mo, at $1390 or $5.04/kg sold by Kumara SE.
Woakwine, Thornlea, bought 90 heifers, weighing 274-346kg, including 17 February/March-drop Sterita Park-bld Angus heifers, av 274kg, at $1460 or $5.33/kg sold by LK Ling.
J Croser & Son, Meningie, sold 79 Yamburgen-bld Shorthorn heifers, 345-442kg, for an average of $1678.
Their top draft av 442kg sold at $1810 or $4.10/kg to Creek Livestock, while a lighter draft av 345kg sold at $1570 or $4.55/kg to Miller Whan & John on behalf of Ogilvie.
Fifteen cows with calves were offered, with the top money of $2340 paid by Creek Livestock for one Hereford heifer with an Angus calf at-foot sold by Tyrone.
Three Angus heifers, not rejoined with three Angus CAF, sold to John King at $2220 on behalf of M Swain.
Thirty pregnancy-tested in-calf females were offered - the top draft of 14 Angus cows PTIC to Boonaroo Angus bulls for March-April calving sold by Killarnie, Mingbool, to OP Livestock, Mount Gambier; and two Charolais-cross fourth calvers, PTIC to Angus bulls, sold at $2000 to O'Connor & Graney, Mount Gambier.
David Creek, Elders Mount Gambier, said the sale was on a par, if not dearer than interstate markets - especially on some of the heifer lines.
"Every month, prices are managing to climb to another level," he said.
"Last month the graziers dominated, but this month the feedlotters had the upper hand and there were plenty of local restockers who walked away, shaking their heads with money still in their pockets."
Mr Creek said some vendors were selling 280-320kg beasts now at good money, rather than growing them out and selling in January/February.
"They're taking the option of money in the pocket right now and can't get them on the truck quick enough," he said.
"The breeders are sitting in the box seat this year and pretty I'm confident the prices will stay buoyant because with the exceptional season we've had, we'll still have green feed in the paddocks until Christmas."
- Start the day with all the big news in agriculture. Sign up here to receive our daily Stock Journal newsletter.