PRICES of medium weight and lighter steers moved up another notch at last Friday's monthly store cattle sale in Mount Gambier, with the re-appearance of Albury commission buyer Duncan Brown consistently pushing the price barrier and who at the end of the day, amassed 750 head destined for northern pastures.
It's been estimated that around 85 per cent of cattle sold at the region's recent store cattle sales have headed north.
Last Friday's sale was no exception, with several northern buyers keeping the pressure on the regular feedlotters and local restockers, their seemingly insatiable demand for livestock keeping the prices buoyant on the 4200-plus yarding.
Prices for heavy Angus steers 450kg-plus were firm on last month, making from $5.71 a kilogram to $6/kg; coloured steers of this weight sold marginally stronger from $4.77-$5.54/kg.
Angus steers 360-450kg sold stronger from $5.78-$6.83/kg, while coloured steers 360-450kg made from $5.18/kg to significantly stronger at $6.41/kg.
Prices for medium weight classes of steers were steady.
Angus steers 320-360kg made $5.96-$7.04/kg, while coloured steers in the same class sold from $5.37-$6.32/kg.
Lighter and smaller Angus steers 280-320kg sold significantly dearer from $6.89-$7.74/kg, with prices consistently making $7/kg-plus; while coloured steers 280-320kg also increased, making $5.84-$8.49/kg.
Angus steers under 280kg saw the biggest jump in price from February, making from $7.10-$9.27/kg; coloured steers in the same weight range selling from $5.76 to $6.93/kg.
Thomas Foods International bought 450 steers and heifers, paying Friday's top dollars a head price of $2930 or $5.96/kg for 17 Angus-cross steers av 492kg from Nelson Park, Nelson, Vic.
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RE&RG Johnston, Dartmoor, Vic, sold eight Pasturefed Cattle Assurance Scheme-eligible Angus steers av 490kg at $2910 or $5.94/kg to Teys Wagga, who also bought 13 Angus steers av 497kg at $2840 o4 $5.71/kg from Pepa Hill, Nelson.
Several large drafts of well bred cattle were yarded, attracting strong competition from the gallery with buyers snapping them up to put some outstanding lines together.
Bassendean, Strathdownie, Vic, sold 90 Boonaroo-blood Angus and Angus-cross steers, weighing 205-261kg, for an average of $1965.
A draft of their lighter steers av 205kg, sold at the highest c/kg price of $9.27/kg or $1900 to Elders Heywood account Hollis.
Regular vendor Kumara SE, Mount Gambier, sold 93 European Union-accredited and PCAS-eligible Pathfinder-bld, June 2021-drop Angus steers weighing 293-361kg for an average of $2309.
Kumara's lightest draft av 293kg sold to J Rogers, Kalandagoo, at $2270 or $7.75/kg.
DM Spencer, Dartmoor, sold 18 PCAS Angus steers 7-8 months av 287kg at $2220 or $7.74/kg to Miller Whan & John.
Benara Pastoral, Mount Gambier, sold 167 Coolana and Sterita Park-bld Angus steers 10-12 months weighing 388-419kg for an average of $2471.
Rangers Valley Feedlot from Glen Innes, NSW, bought 106 of them, including the top weights at 410kg paying $2540 or $6.20/kg.
DE McEachern, Kongorong, sold his annual draft of PCAS 8-10 month-old Hereford and Angus-cross steers on Friday. The 81 Angus-cross steers, weighing 284-365kg sold to $2280 or $7.38/kg, with an average of $2239; while the 74 Hereford steers weighing 274-392kg, sold to $2700 or $8.49/kg, av $2334.
Mount Gambier have had the strongest prices for store cattle in the region by far and it's anyone's guess how long this will go on.- ETHAN BRONCA
Dismal Swamp, Kalangadoo, sold an outstanding draft of 327 PCAS Angus and Angus-cross steers 9-12 months-old for an average of $2157.
Commission buyer Duncan Brown paid $2210 or $6.99/kg for 18 of them av 316kg.
Shiloh Park, Mount Gambier, topped the dollars a head for coloured cattle, with 17 PCAS Hereford steers 10-12 months-old av 515kg, selling to Teys Wagga at $2700 or $5.24/kg, while a second lighter draft av 312kg sold at $1900 or $6.09/kg to Nutrien Warrnambool.
RK&SM Johnson, Benara, sold 19 Warrensville-bld Poll Hereford steers av 310kg at $2030 or $6.55/kg to Green Triangle Livestock.
O'Connor & Graney agent Ethan Bronca thought vendors would have been exceptionally happy with Friday's prices.
"I'd say the heavier cattle were firm on last month, but the further on the sale went, the dearer it got," he said.
"Mount Gambier have had the strongest prices for store cattle in the region by far and it's anyone's guess how long this will go on."
All classes of heifers sold stronger this month, with 450kg-plus types making from $4.70-$5.19/kg; 360-450kg heifers making $5.14-$6.42/kg; while 320-360kg heifers sold from $5.06-$6.76/kg.
The lighter range 280-320kg heifers sold from $5.23-$6.73/kg; while heifers under 280kg made from $5.74-$7.25/kg.
Yarramie, Strathdownie, Vic, sold 11 PCAS Angus heifers av 262kg for the top c/kg heifer price of $7.25/kg or $1900 to Nutrien.
Treetop Estate, Keith, sold 132 April/May 2021-drop Stoney Point-bld Angus heifers weighing 312-393kg for an average of $2208.
Their heaviest draft av 393kg sold at the top dollars a head heifer price of $2470 or $6.28/kg to Elders account Nampara.
A lighter draft of Treetop Estate heifers, av 333kg, made $6.76/kg or $2250 to Duncan Brown.
David McEachern, Kongorong, sold 123 PCAS Angus and Hereford heifers 8-10 months-old, weighing 286-337kg for an average of $1937; the lightest draft av 297kg sold at $2000 or $6.73/kg.
Twin Gums, Tarpeena, sold six PCAS Pathfinder-blood Angus-cross heifers av 264kg at $1750 or $6.63/kg to Hardwicks.
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Mingbool Pastoral, Mingbool, sold 92 Angus and Angus-cross heifers, 14-16 months-old weighing 413-497kg, for an average of $2366. Their heaviest draft av 497kg sold to Creek Livestock at $2400 or $4.83/kg.
Griffin Pastoral Co, Biscuit Flat, sold 104 March/April 2021-drop PCAS Black Angus-bld Angus heifers weighing 293-320kg to $1850 and an average of $1828.
MWJ paid $1850 or $6.31/kg for the lightest draft av 293kg.
Wattleview, Strathdownie, sold 60 Pathfinder-bld Angus and Angus-cross heifers weighing 374-412kg for an average of $2598.
MWJ Mount Gambier bought the entire draft, paying to $2400 or $6.42/kg for 24 heifers av 374kg.
Cow and calf units were also offered, with Megaw Farms, Allendale, selling nine two-year-old Angus heifers with nine Angus CAF at $3850 to Green Triangle Livestock.
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