RESTOCKERS and lotfeeders from south-east South Australia and Victoria paid up to $755 for weaner calves at today's Naracoorte sale.
The early pens of 350-430kg cattle made from 170c to 175c/kg or $620-$740, with prices strengthening slightly as the sale progressed and larger lines of EU cattle came up.
Many of the 350kg-plus first run cattle went to feedlots such as Princess Royal at Burra, in South Australia, and Kidman's at Sedan, in SA, with better finished pens going to processors such as T&R Pastoral and Westside Meats.
Local SA restockers, especially EU bullock finishers such as John Stuckey at Millicent also bought these steers.
The Ogilvie feedlot at Kingston and Sundown Pastoral at Inverell, in NSW, were active on the 300-350kg lines.
Victorian buyers were also active, including the Hopkins River feedlot from Dunkeld, LMB Linke from Hamilton and Elders Leongatha.
Winterlake sold 25 433kg Angus steer weaners fo $745, or 172c/kg, and the partnership of Trott and Warner sold 39 Angus steers, 394 kg, for $690 or 175c/kg, both lots going to T&R Pastoral.
WJ James and Son sold 12 Angus-cross steers, 414kg, for $755 or 182c/kg to Westside Meats.
The 300-350kg steers made from 165c to 185c/kg or $570-$620 and the 250-300kg lines made from $405 to $560 with some lines estimated at 230-250kg liveweight coming out at 200-210c/kg.
Elders Naracoorte auctioneer Tom Dennis said there were premiums paid for EU-accredited cattle, up to $30, or 5c/kg liveweight.
This helped lift prices for some lines later in the sale.
Buyers also discounted or didn't bid on unweaned cattle.
Elders buyer for the Princess Royal feedlot Andrew Corrigan said the market was a bit about 5c/kg softer than the Naracoorte sale before Christmas.
He and LMB Linke agent at Hamilton Bernie Grant agreed they bought more weight than before Christmas for similar money, at today's sale.
"We paid the same money and got 30kg more weight," Mr Grant said after buying 112 steers at around 340kg for $580 to $620.
Naracoorte agents yarded 3143 cattle for the sale held under the saleyards' new roof and on soft flooring.