ROBUST competition for heavy steers was evident at the Naracoorte store cattle sale on Thursday last week, with prices firmly up on the previous market.
Prices for steers elevated considerably, with Doneden Family Trust, Goroke, making $2320 or $4.44 a kilogram, for 13 April/June 2020-drop Angus steers that weighed 510kg.
Competition was strong throughout the sale, with FB&MM Hogan, Horsham, Vic, making $2231 or $4.25/kg, for four, 525kg Angus March/April 2020-drops and Coronary Park, Frances, making $2173 or $4.94/kg, for one, 440kg April/May 2020-drop Nentoura-blood Angus/Shorthorn bought by Thomas Foods International.
The same vendor made $1745 or $4.47/kg, for nine Pathfinder-bld Angus that weighed an average of 390kg and sold to TFI.
Heavy steers from PPHSaccount Arthur Facey Pty Ltd, Millicent, made $2000 or $4.88/kg for for 24, 410kg March/April 2020-drop Bundulla/Woonallee-bld Angus steers that sold to Thomas De Garis & Clarkson.
AJ&LC Facey, Millicent, made $2020 or $5.06/kg, for 20, 399kg Bendulla/Woonallee-blds that went the same way, while a further 62, 375kg March/April 2020-drop steers made $1930 or $5.15/kg.
SL&VK Clarke, Avenue Range, made $2020 or $4.73/kg for 10, 427kg April 2020-drop European Union-accredited Angus/Charolais steers and RG Nottle, Bordertown, offeredsix November 2020-drop Angus Creek-blds, weighing 418kg, which also made $2020 or $4.83/kg.
European Union-accredited cattle attracted attention, with Derby Vale Pastoral, Naracoorte, making $2000 or $4.72/kg for nine, 424kg EU Poll Hereford Wrattenbullie-blds that sold to TFI, while Kalandra Pastoral Company, Marcollat, offered eight EU Angus and Angus/Simmentals, 401kg, making $2000 or $4.99/kg.
SM&WJ Johnson, Naracoorte, made $2000 or $5.13/kg for 16 April/May 2020-drop Clover Ridge-blds that weighed 390kg and PB&JF Schutz, Padthaway, made $1990 or $4.75/kg for 11, 419kg Pathfinder-blds.
Heifers topped at $1840 for 13, 400kg Charolais/Red Angus heifers from SL&VK Clarke, Avenue Range, which equated to $4.60/kg, and NJ&MJ Watson, Lucindale, made $1840 or $4.55/kg for 10, 404kg Angus heifers.
In part, the price rise was driven by increased confidence from local producers after opening rains arrived in the South East.
Prices were "certainly" dearer compared with past markets, according to Elders Lucindale auctioneer Ronnie Dix, with heavy feeder cattle attracting the most attention.
"Feedlotter supply is certainly tightening up," he said.
"There has been a realisation that job is coming back.
"When producers with feed in the paddock and feedlotters are operating on the same cattle, it pushes prices up."
Mr Dix said he expected the cattle returns to continue on an upward trajectory.
Nutrien Ag Solutions Naracoorte auctioneer Brendan Fitzgerald said interstate interest at Naracoorte underpinned the market.
"A lot of smaller cattle are heading into NSW because they have had a lot more rain and are restocking at pretty high levels," he said.
"The east coast of NSW is shaping up to have a brilliant season."
Mr Fitzgerald said heifers attracted plenty of interest.
"Producers are happy to spend the extra money on heifers because of the breeding capacity and better value," he said.
"Heifers are probably closing the gap on steers at the moment."
The next Naracoorte store cattle sale is scheduled for Thursday, May 27.
Start the day with all the big news in agriculture. Sign up here to receive our daily Stock Journal newsletter.