THE store cattle market took a turn for the worse at Euroa today, with steer weaner prices judged to be $50 a head cheaper.
The prices were down on last week’s opening calf sales in Victoria.
Steer sales over $600 per head were limited as the market flattened out to between 150c and 160c/kg liveweight for the general run of Angus, Hereford and Charolais-cross steers.
Indicator sales in the opening laneway of Angus steer tell the tale: $550 for steers with a displayed weight of 361kg (149c/kg); 21 at $550 for 349kg; and $540 for 18 at 336kg.
“Its pretty damn dismal,’’ said breeder David Sleigh, Sleigh Pastoral, who was able to accurately compare the sale to Wodonga last week where the family also sold cattle.
“Our top Hereford calves are $45 off Wodonga last week, and they are a similar weight, and the seconds are more than $50 down.’’
The hot, dry conditions – the crowd and cattle alike had to battle through 40C-plus today - amid a big sell off of store cattle across the state this month was blamed for the weakening trend.
Commission buyer Duncan Brown, who bought 50 steers to fill-up a load of steers destined for Queensland, said feed supplies and buyer confidence were waning daily, especially with the prime beef market suffering major price falls.
“Until it rains there really is no bottom and its very hard to get an order,’’ Mr Brown said: “And everyday we come out (to buy at a sale) people are telling us to get the cheaper.
The heifer market was also disappointing for vendors at Euroa, with even the better bred name lots struggling to make over 150c/kg.
The Jumbuck Park Angus heifers, with noted breeder Robert Love at Violet Town, sold to a top of $550 for 24 head that averaged 367kg, equalling 149c/kg. The second line of 22 at 308kg sold for $510, for an improved rate of 165c/kg.
The buying trend at the sale did favour lighter calves, in contrast to what was reported in the Western District last week, and the steer market did find a floor of $470 to $490 on the smaller calves, with tail enders down to $380.