The first Naracoorte heifer weaner sale for 2023 saw almost identical cents a kilogram rates reached compared to the steers sold the previous day.
And those heifers destined to be breeders enjoyed premiums of $200 a head or more.
Many of the heifers remained in the South East but orders came from as far afield as Mildura, Vic and Gunnedah in northern NSW.
The 1640 head yarding topped at $1980 and averaged $1570.
Nutrien's Brendan Fitzgerald said as expected the sale was cheaper than the December one but noted there was only 10c/kg difference at the most between heifers and comparable steers sold on Thursday.
There were also premiums of $200 or even more for heifers if the "bloodline and type were right".
"Five dollars a kilogram was there for that real good heifer to put out and they were not afraid to buy those with a bit of weight too," he said.
He said buyers were turning to heifers for safety.
"There are probably more blokes chasing heifers and that option that they can always join a bull later on," he said.
"There are a lot of sales on so I think we are getting out of it well for numbers.."
Top price honours went to Clovelly Pastoral Trust, Naracoorte, with their 23 March/April drops which weighed 356kg.
The JB Angus bloods, which were weaned in December, were bought for $1980 by Spence Dix & Co's Jono Spence for client Delta Produce.
Delta Produce also bought 22 Bull Oak Well blood Angus from Zacker Pastoral, Tintinara. These were 348kg.
Nampara Pastoral Company who were one of the sale's big buyers were pushed to $5.22/kg to buy back their own bloodlines in 24 March/April drops from AC Davidson & Co, Penola.
The outstanding heifers weighed 355.62kg.
Nampara - who bought through Elders Mount Gambier - also added 13 Pathfinder bld Angus from Powerscourt Pastoral, Robe to their buying list for $1770.
They also paid $5/kg or $1835 for 24 Angus from Longridge Pastoral Co Pty Ltd, Yankalilla
SA&GE Smith, Lakala, Lucindale, also had an impressive draft of EU Angus.
Their tops weighing 372.5kg made $4.78/kg while another 65 head -sold across three pens - all made $4.98/kg. This equated to $1623 to $1633.
Long-time sellers RJ, JE, AB & CE Smith, Joanna, also had a strong following for their complete drop of largely April drop Glatz Black Angus blds.
The tops made $1780 selling to PPHS account Gebel. In comparison the previous day the Smiths' steers topped at $1710
"We are very happy considering where the market is at, we knew we couldn't budget on last year's prices but these are second only to them," Alan Smith said.
PPHS auctioneer Josh Manser said while there was less competition "from the north" on black heifers than prior to Christmas it was a good result.
Many well-bred Angus heifers were $100 a head dearer than their steer counterparts.
"Both vendors and buyers are very happy. It is certainly a lot cheaper than 12 months ago but the job is at realistic rates," he said.
"Better black heifers were making $4.80/kg-$5.20/kg and then as you moved into the feedlot and backgrounding cattle it was more like $4.40/kg to $4.60/kg."
Another big two-day weaner sale will be held at the Naracoorte Regional Livestock Exchange on January 19 and 20.