PRICES came off the boil from the December highs at last Friday's Mount Gambier store cattle sale, particularly on heavier steers.
Some of the usual contingent of feedlot buyers were missing in action as a result of the impact of COVID-19 on their production system.
With some abattoirs running on skeleton staff, and others having to postpone their scheduled kills completely in the short term, it was inevitable that some impact was felt down the supply chain.
Nutrien's Jeff Olafsen wasn't surprised to see prices stablise, given the state of the industry at the moment.
"With the knock-on effects of COVID-19 and some abattoirs either closing for the short term or being run on skeleton staff, we were bound to see an impact sooner or later," he said.
"In saying that, there was still a whole lot of local support, as well as huge interest from northern NSW buyers."
Angus steers 450 kilograms-plus made $4.19/kg to $5.42/kg; while coloured steers of the same weight sold to $4.62/kg. Angus steers 360-450kg sold from $5.06-$6.62/kg; with coloured steers 360-450kg making $4.96-$6/kg.
A majority of the yarding were medium weight steers, which held the line this month, driven by demand from regular feedlot buyers, northern commission buyers and local restockers.
Angus steers 320-360kg sold from $5.76-$6.97/kg; while coloured steers in the same class made $5.48-$6.62/kg. Angus steers 280-320kg sold from $6.52-$7.21/kg; while the coloured steers in this weight range made $5.97-$6.92kg.
A limited offering of Angus steers under 280kg saw prices hold firm, selling from $7.23-$7.52/kg; while coloured steers of the same weight sold to $7.71/kg.
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Heavy steers topped at the dollars-a-head high of $2740 or $4.68/kg for eight Angus steers averaging 586kg, sold by Tant Rise, Tantanoola, to Creek Livestock.
Creek Livestock paid the top price of $2740 again, for 18 Pasturefed Cattle Assurance Scheme-eligible Stoney Point-bld Angus steers, August/September 2020-drops av 578kg, equating to $4.74/kg, sold by Terra Nostra Farms, Yahl, who also sold 65 Angus steers, 504-578kg, from $2500-$2740, av $2585.
Balrook, Dartmoor, Vic, sold 17 European Union-accredited and PCAS-eligible Granite Ridge and Nampara-bld Angus and Angus/Simmental steers, 18-20 months. The top draft av 556kg sold to Creek Livestock at $2700 or $4.86/kg.
Balrook's lighter draft of 32 ten-month-old Angus steers weighing 348-375kg all sold to Schubert Boers for a top of $2440 or $6.51/kg, av $2428.
Klassen Contracting, Mount Gambier, hit the cents/kg high on Friday, with 16 PCAS Hereford/Simmental steers, 7-9 months av 240kg, selling at $7.71/kg or $1850 to Green Triangle Livestock, who also bought the heavier Klassen draft av 319kg at $1950 or $6.11/kg.
With steers 280kg and lighter in short supply and hot demand, regular vendor J Prosperi-Porta, Mount Gambier, found the sweet spot with 10 Angus-cross steers av 278kg selling at $2090 or $7.52/kg to Nutrien Dalby, Qld.
G Robinson & R Vaughan, Homerton, Vic, sold 25 March/April-drop Boonaroo and Granite Ridge-bld Angus steers av 350kg at $2440 or $6.97/kg to Duncan Brown, AJF Brien & Sons, Coonamble, NSW; while a second draft av 330kg sold at $2240 or $6.79/kg to NSW commission buyer Andrew Lowe.
N&N Kerr, Drik Drik, Vic, sold 52 PCAS Angus and Angus-cross steers, 8-10 months weighing 291-398kg, for an av of $2147. Their heaviest draft av 398kg sold at $2290 or $5.75/kg to Andrew Lowe, while their lighter draft av 291kg sold at $2030 or $6.98/kg to Miller Whan & John.
ST&J Hawke, Glencoe, sold 75 PCAS Pathfinder and Stoney Point-bld Angus steers, 8-10 months 298-390kg, for an average of $2314. Their lightest draft av 298kg sold at $2150 or $7.21/kg to AJF Brien & Sons.
Dunorer, Hotspur, Vic, sold 24 Bowmont and Tarcooma-bld Poll Hereford-cross steers av 356kg at $2240 or $6.29/kg to Schubert Boers. Nutrien Dalby bought 28 Dunorer steers weighing 305kg at $2110 or $6.92/kg, along with seven Charolais-cross steers av 310kg at $1910 or $6.16/kg.
GW Jones, Mumbannar, Vic, sold nine PCAS Red Angus steers, 10-11 months av 430kg, at $2420 or $5.63/kg to O'Connor & Graney.
Eighty-nine pregnancy-tested in-calf females were offered by three vendors.
Lakala, Mumbannar, sold 39 Angus cows and heifers, PTIC to TeMania Angus bulls to calve from May to July. Eight, 2018-drop Angus cows sold to $3700 to Thomas DeGaris & Clarkson, who also bought Lakala's 2017-drop PTIC Angus cows at $3500.
SG&LE McLean, Winnap, sold 11 two-year-old Angus heifers, PTIC to Rennylea and Strathewen Angus bulls to calve February, at $3500 to the Woodall family.
Heifers prices were back slightly on the December market, but were still very satisfactory and presented some good buying opportunities. Those 450kg-plus sold from $3.87-$4.53/kg; 360-450kg heifers made $4.13-$5.68/kg; while 320-360kg heifers sold from $5.11-$5.83/kg.
Heifers 280-320kg sold at $5.80-$6.56/kg, while a very limited number under 280kg made $6.63-$6.78/kg.
The Itzerott family, Kongorong, sold 45 PCAS Six Creeks-bld Simmental/Angus heifers, 389-413kg, for an av of $2041. Their heaviest draft av 413kg sold to Creek Livestock at $2010 or $4.87/kg, while a draft av 346kg sold to MWJ at $1860 or $5.38/kg.
Balrook sold eight EU and PCAS Granite Ridge and Nampara-bld Angus heifers, 18-20 months av 495kg, at $2200 or $4.44/kg to Creek Livestock; while a draft av 448kg sold to O'Connor & Graney at $1850 or $4.13/kg.
Invaloch, Strathdownie, Vic, sold 32 Hereford heifers, 9-10 months av 293kg, at $1800 or $6.14/kg; and a lighter draft av 261kg at $1770 or $6.78/kg to AJF Brien & Sons; while Dunorer's 20 Tarcooma-bld Charolais-cross heifers av 273kg also went on Duncan Brown's ledger at $1810 or $6.63/kg.
MH Burzacott and M Emery, Robe, sold 12 2021-drop Charolais heifers av 412kg at $2100 or $5.10/kg to Creek Livestock; while ST&J Hawke sold 35 Pathfinder and Stoney Point-bld Angus heifers av 358kg at $1980 or $5.53/kg to MWJ; and a lighter draft av 273kg to Duncan Brown at $1840 or $6.74/kg.
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