With prices lifting slightly at the Strathalbyn cattle market on Friday, agents are hoping its the start of an ongoing trend.
Elders Strathalbyn branch manager Danny Reynolds said the majority of the 1100-plus yarding was 2023-drop weaners, with a number of spring 2022-drop yearlings on offer as well.
"The quality of the yarding was extremely good, with plenty of condition and weight on offer," he said.
"Heavy steers to feedlotters were 10 cents/kg stronger than last round, but the lighter steers were a different story, losing 20-30c/kg in places, compared to a fortnight ago.
"The absolute best of the lighter steers sold to $2.52/kg, to average $2.25/kg; while the heavy feeder steers av $880 per head. The 250-350kg bracket averaged $710, or $2.35/kg. Lighter steers under 250kg averaged $545."
Nutrien Ag Solutions Strathalbyn livestock sales manager Ben Dickenson said most of the yarding went to locals, with some to the Upper South East and Riverland, especially feeder cattle.
"We feel the market was slightly up on the previous market, which we are optimistically hoping will be the ongoing trend," he said.
"Feeder cattle were popular, while grass cattle were pretty strong as well, so hopefully that shows some confidence going forward."
He quoted 400-450kg Angus steers from $2.25-$2.31/kg; 350-400kg from $2.21-$2.53/kg; and 250-300kg steers between $2.26-$2.54/kg.
The top cents a kilogram honours at $2.54/kg went to 17 lighter steers from Fleurieu Angus, Parawa, March/April-drops weighing 255kg, which sold at $650, while a second pen of 21 weighing 304kg made $700 or $2.30/kg.
R&S Talbot, Kangaroo Island, sold 36, 312kg March/April-drop Angus steers at $790, realising $2.53/kg across the two pens, while a second pen of 26 weighing 351kg made $840 or $2.39/kg.
Christopher John, Mount Magnificent, also sold well, with six, 233kg March/April-drop Granite Ridge-blood Angus steers making $570 or $2.45/kg, while another pen of 18 at 297kg sold at $720 or $2.42/kg.
Top per head price of $1080 went to Nutrien's first steer pen of the sale - seven March/April 2022-drop Angus from AV Benson & J Martin, weighing 467kg, which realised $2.31/kg.
Elders' highest per head price of $950 went to their second steer offering from McKay Family Trust - seven, 432kg Angus, weaned September 2022, which made $2.20/kg.
Other strong sales were experienced by AJ Murdock, Kimba, with 13 March/April-drop Granite Ridge-bld Angus weighing 282kg making $690 or $2.45/kg; a second pen of 14 at 257kg made $550 or $2.14/kg; while another 18 at 319kg made $770 or $2.41/kg.
S&D Short, Kangaroo Island, also made $2.45/kg ($590) for 14 March/April-drop Angus steers weighing 241kg, while a second pen of 23 weighing 296kg made $670 or $2.26/kg.
Orchard Branch, Victor Harbor, also hit $2.45/kg ($620) for 11 April/May-drop Angus steers weighing 253kg.
AJ Murdock also did well in the heifer section, making the sale high of $2.16/kg ($660) for 17 March/April-drop Granite Ridge-bld Angus, weighing 306kg; while a second pen of 19 weighing 275kg made $510 or $1.86/kg.
Mr Reynolds said future breeders were up 20c/kg, but lighter weaners were back by 15c/kg on average.
"Heifers over 350kg av $700, topping at $810; the 250-350kg bracket av $520, with lighter heifers selling for around $430."
Nutrien quoted 300-350kg Angus heifers from $1.85-$2.15/kg; 250-300kg at $1.84-$2.03/kg; and under 250kg between $1.82-$1.85/kg.
Jalacase Pty Ltd, Mylor, sold 15, 205kg Murray Grey heifers, March/April-drops at $2.15/kg or $440; while a second pen of 19 weighing 248kg made $1.82/kg or $450 a head.
The top heifer price per head at $810 went to four March/April-drop Shorthorns from J Black, weighing 428kg, which realised $1.89/kg to TFI; while NK Lewis, Gemmells, sold 14 February/March-drop Angus weighing 409kg at $790 or $1.93/kg, plus another five February/March-drop Murray Greys weighing 356kg at $700 or $1.97/kg.
Mr Reynolds said a much smaller number of breeders with calves at-foot was presented, with a smattering of PTIC females as well.
"The few lines of cows with CAF av $1020, while lighter heifers with CAF made $760-$890," he said.
S&S Knight sold four Angus-cross six-year-olds with four May/June-drop calves at-foot, which had been run again with an Angus bull, at $1160; while six fifth calvers, in-calf to a Stoney Point bull, due to drop in March/April 2024 made $1100 for R Pitt, Ashbourne.
The next feature sale will be held on December 1.
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