The beef bonanza seen at Western Districts’ early weaner sales is expected to continue at the Warrnambool mixed sex weaner sale on Friday, January 20.
Warrnambool Stock Agents Association president Jack Kelly said he expected prices at Warrnambool would reach those achieved at the Hamilton independent agents Angus-only steer sale on Monday when returns to producers averaged $1390 a head, up by about $200 a head on 12 months ago.
Mr Kelly said the good season meant quality had been excellent and milk calves at Warrnambool on Wednesday topped at more than $1600 each.
About 3200 weaners are expected to be yarded for the open auction.
He said a forecast supply shortage had not been realised so far at Warrnambool and its numbers were good.
At Hamilton on Monday, the 3137 Angus steers averaged 357kgs and paid 385c/kg on average. Steers 360-450kg made $1360-$1644 9 (avg 370c/kg) and those 280-360kg selling for $1180-$1413 (avg 402c/kg).
Orders from Tasmania, Gippsland, Western Victoria and south-east South Australia dominated the sale – the first of 10 being held at Hamilton and nearby Casterton over the next fortnight.
The penning averaged 15 kgs heavier than last year and saw the first 35 pens offer live weights upwards of 380kg, to a top of 441kg.
LMB Linke auctioneer, Bernie Grant said a broad range of feeder and restocker buyers have placed a lot of faith in prices going forward.
“It was of interest to note a number of northern NSW operators also attended the market but the extra weight saw them outbid by the local contingent” he said.
The nation’s largest beef processor JBS Swift was sale’s largest volume buyer, snapping up 700 heads.
Kerr & Co auctioneer Craig Pertzel said JBS Swift’s big purchase indicated it saw a looming supply shortage in the months ahead and its pro-active stance had provides others with a lot of confidence.
The market dollar per head top was achieved for the EU-accredited yard of 23 Torbank steers, averaging 435kg. These made 378c/kg liveweight or $1644 a head while Camp Creek sold a yard of 437kg EU-accredited steers at 369c/kg or $1612/head.
The best cents per kilogram sale was by Athlone South, Penshurst. Its sale price of 433c/kg for a yard of 37 Angus, 283kg, gave Roland Cameron and family $1225/head while its best pen of 116 head, 363kg, nominated as the best presented, realised 387c/kg or $1404/hd.
EU-sales on the day averaged 387c/kg which was only a slight premium above the market average.