DUE to the run of public holidays, there hadn’t been a prime sale at the Leongatha VLE Saleyards for three weeks, so a full field of trade and export buyers attended last Wednesday, May 1 keen to fill quotas.
It was noticeable that while there was a reasonable quantity of grown steers and bullocks, the hiatus led to a significant number of chopper dairy cows coming on to the market.
Thankfully these sold to firm or dearer competition.
“This is probably the biggest sale we’ll see here for a while,” said Landmark Leongatha principal Terry Ginnane.
“The top cattle have sold very well today. We had a nice pen of Charolais heifers which sold for $3.06 cents per kg which was good,” said Landmark Leongatha auctioneer Stuart Jenkin.
“We’ve got more dairy cattle in here because of the break but the prices have held up for them was well,” said Terry.
According to regular saleyards attendee and local buyer Ross Svenson, grinding beef is in keen demand in the USA and he would expect those prices to continue to be supported.
“We’ve seen a lot of cattle going out of East Gippsland and that can’t continue. When we do see rain you’ll find cattle will be harder to come by,” Mr Svenson said.
A lot of the talk at the saleyards last Wednesday was, predictably, about the prospect of rain and the fact that usually fertile areas around Yinnar, and east of there, are struggling at the moment.
East Gippsland remains firmly in the grip of drought.
“Everywhere needs rain but particularly East Gippsland and New South Wales. When we do see good rains in New South Wales you’re likely to see a lift in price on the back of shorter supply,” said Mr Ginnane.
No one, however, farming in South Gippsland was complaining.
“We’ve been very lucky down here,” was the comment from more than one.
There were approximately 2000 export and 300 young cattle penned at Koonwarra last Wednesday, representing a decrease of 840 head from the sale of three weeks ago.
The usual buying group was present and competing in a dearer market.
Quality was mixed, with some very good prime lots on offer, while the yarding was dominated by plain conditioned cows.
Trade cattle improved up to 20c/kg in places, while the plainer young cattle attracted little demand. Grown steers and bullocks lifted 3c to 10c/kg. Heavy weight Friesian manufacturing steers lifted 17c/kg, while the crossbred portion held firm. Cows sold to stronger competition, with the heavy beef cows being the major beneficiary, lifting 10c to 15c, while the dairy portion sold from firm to 10c/kg dearer.
Heavy bulls eased 5c/kg. Vealers sold from 208c to 332c/kg. Yearling trade steers reached 281c/kg. Yearling heifers to the trade sold from 262c to 326c/kg. Grown steers made from 278c to 305c/kg.
Bullocks sold from 282c to 314c/kg. A
limited selection of heavy heifers made from 238c to 265c/kg. Heavy Friesian manufacturing steers sold from 219c to 230c with the crossbred portion making from 225c to 294c/kg. Most light and medium weight cows made from 127c to 206c/kg. Heavy weight cows sold from 187c to 244c/kg. Better shaped heavy bulls made from 205c to 237c/kg.