AN EARLY lift of $100 in cow and calf prices gave hope to vendors at Wodonga today.
But prices for the offering of 3000 were up and down as buyers were choosy over what they wanted.
The best heifer and calf units sold to $1270 and most were making $1000 plus.
But competition dipped noticeably when agents moved on to selling yearling to 18-month-old steers.
One of those caught with the lower rates was Alex Baulch, from Coleraine, whose cattle had been on agistment in southern NSW since April.
He was banking on getting at least 190c/kg for his 110 Angus and Black Baldy steers, but only one pen reached this mark.
“The market was definitely flat today for the older steers and it is hard to say why,” he said.
Most older steers, 400kg and heavier, were only making about 160-170c/kg, with the occasional pen going to 180c/kg.
The mood changed again, though, when agents moved to selling true weaner steers, headlined by a big draft of Angus sold by Widgiewa Station, Morundah.
In a move which set the scene, FOB Sale agent Gordon Conners bid $670 for a pen of the Widgiewa steers, and opted to take 240 at this rate.
The cattle sold to Riverbank Pastoral Company, which recently bought Tuppal Station at Tocumwal, where the steers will be sent to fatten.
Mr Conners said the rate was about 210c/kg, “something which you have to pay for quality”.
“He likes good cattle,” he said.
Fellow buyer Bernard Fanning from Wooragee paid $625 for 300kg Angus steers, again from Widgiewa, and said he was prepared to pay a little more to get the right kind of steers.
“The gap needs to get smaller, though, for what you have to pay for store cattle and what you get for prime cattle,” he said.