NARACOORTE weaner steers defied the cheapening trend to sell to $760 at the heavy end and more than 200c/kg for the lighter cattle.
Although large run averages were still $150 cheaper than last year and top line rates were down $50 to $200, strong trade inquiry backed by feedlot and grass bullock finishers from NSW, South Australia and Victoria on the quality runs of 380kg-plus weaners led to several pens of Angus and Euro cross weaned EU cattle make $650 to $760 or 170c/kg to 187c/kg.
The top pens that reached the $760 mark included Yarlalla Pastoral from Lochaber with its 17 409kg Angus-Simmental steers that came out at 186c/kg and Bimbadeen Red Angus' 18 413kg Simmental-Red Angus crosses that worked out at 184c/kg.
Yarlalla Pastoral partner, Jonathan Withers, said the partnership's top steers last year sold for $810, but were 30kg lighter.
"We've got bigger calves this year, yet we got less for them.
"But we're really happy considering the market seems to have lifted for this sale."
Lower south-east South Australia restockers, an export order to Turkey and feedlot buyers were active on the 300kg to 380kg calves, paying $500 to $655 or 150c/kg to 180c/kg.
The weighed steers and small unweighed lines from 250kg to 300kg liveweight sold from $480 to $555 or 150c/kg to 180c/kg, while some large lines of Angus steers under 250kg made from $440 to $465 or 198c/kg to 210c/kg.
Thomas DeGaris and Clarkson auctioneer Darren Maney said the sale was very solid on recent sales, with a $30 to $40 premium above previous markets for EU-accredited lines.
"Across the board it was $30 to $40 above expectations and for the first time since December last year we had smaller calves making over 200c/kg."
Buyers included T&R Pastoral; Sundown Pastoral Co, Inverell, NSW; Hopkins River Beef at Macarthur; Livestock Shipping Services; Elders Barham, Rodwells Horsham and Keith, Coolah Station, Kongorong and other lower south-east South Australian restockers.