Prices in the final and largest heifer weaner sale for the season at Naracoorte on Friday came close to matching the strong steer cents a kilogram rates achieved the previous day.
Local demand was strong but there were also buyer orders from Gippsland, Vic and southern NSW for breeding and fattening.
It was a well-bred pen of 21 10-11 month old Simmental-Red Angus from Neil and Lisa Davis, Bimbadeen Ag, Coonawarra, which topped the 2684 head yarding.
The EU-accredited heifers made $4.84/kg, equating to the $1883 highest price in dollars a head, selling to Elders Bendigo, Vic.
Overall Bimbadeen Ag's 62 heifers averaged $1780.
The Hann family, Nampara Pastoral Company, Lucindale, who had some outstanding results with their PTIC females in the past week - including a $3032 average on 186 head sold at Mortlake, Vic- reinvested in the top end of genetics to join for sale in 2022.
Through Elders Mt Gambier they paid $1820 for 16 April/May drops from Oakley Farms, Pinnaroo. the Bull Oak Well blds weighed 422kg.
They also bought their own bloodlines back with 24 Nampara and Granite Ridge bloods from MG&TM Smith, Lucindale, making $4.76/kg or $1709.
Another 46 Angus from the Smiths, 319.5kg, made $4.96/kg.
Clovelly Pastoral Co, Naracoorte, sold 41 JB Angus bloods to a $1750 high for March/April drops weighing 388kg. These were also knocked down to Nampara.
"The job is pretty strong. With the way the year has been with COVID there was a degree of uncertainty but it has exceeded our expectations," vendor Ian McLachlan said.
Kanangra Props, Furner, received $4.64/kg for 14 March/April drops, 378.9kg or $1758.
CI&MK Bateman, Furner, sold nine , March/April drop, EU, Woonallee bld, Simmental-Herefords for $1770 to AuctionsPlus which bought 10 per cent of the yarding.
Also among the impressive drafts was Ferris Partners, Harold Park, Keilira, who sold 97 Glatz blood Angus heifers to $1664, averaging $1598.
The pens ranged from $4.60/kg on the heavy end to $4.94/kg.
Regular sellers, MacLachlan Props, Mount Pleasant, sold 58 EU April/May drops with bidding reaching $5.04/kg on 16 black baldy heifers weighing 315.6kg.
Boolara Props, Coonawarra, who secured the $5.52/kg top c/kg rate for their steers the previous day, received $5.46/kg for 12 Angus weighing 223.7kg.
Thomas DeGaris & Clarkson auctioneer Hayden Lambert quoted prices as firm on the early January sale and said there was a 15-20c/kg premium for heifers being bought to be mated.
"The cattle didn't have the weight of the first sale, they would have been 25-30kg lighter on average if not more but there were still calves 360kg to 390kg and they still sold extremely well at $4.40/kg-$4.60/kg," he said.
"The lighter calves 250-300kg were making $4.95/kg-$5.50/kg."
He said in such a volatile cattle market some buyers were choosing to buying heifers over steers to give themselves more options. This had narrowed the cents a kilogram gap between the sexes.
"Steers you can grow them out and sell them as bullocks or as a feeder steer but if you are buying heifers you can have a grass fed heifer, put them on grain or grass and finish them, join them and sell them as PTIC heifers or calve them down and sell them as cow-calf units," he said.
Mr Lambert put the big yarding down to some vendors deciding to "take the money while it is there" but also said with such a good season in the South East some may have held onto their heifers to put more weight into them.
Southern Australian Livestock's Will Nolan, the Naracoorte Combined Agents Association's chairman, said the market was similar to early January for heavy heifers to a "little bit better" on the middle and light weight range.
"Those middle weight heifers were $4.80/kg to $5.20/kg-$5.30/kg so they are making equivalent money to the steers," he said.
"There were probably some vendors here today that sold heifers for more money than yesterday's steers"
The Naracoorte Regional Livestock Exchange will return to monthly store sales with the next one scheduled for Thursday, February 25.
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