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TAS Country : January 6th 2011
Friday, January 7, 2011 Tasmanian Country 9 The Stock Report Swift swoops in weaner welter HOT SPOT: There was action aplenty at Casterton when weaner steers sold to $814 on Tuesday. OPENING weaner calf sales went off with a bang this week as prices soared 25 per cent on last year in early markets in Victoria's Western District. Aggressive buying by major proces- sors Swift Australia and T&R Pastoral pushed weaner steer prices to record levels. ''I can't ever recall a sale like this,'' Michael Kerr of Kerr & Co said after 2600 autumn-drop Angus steers sold to a top of $913 and averaged $755. Steers heavier than 350kg sold from 210c to 228c/kg, while 300kg steers sold to 235c/kg. Such was the strength of the proces- sor bids that backgrounders struggled to compete. Kerr and Co's David Powling, who normally buys for sev- eral backgrounding clients, said he was blown out of the market. ''If Swift and T&R are going to buy like that, there is no bloody hope for the backgrounder,'' Mr Powling said. And at Casterton, Swift bought 400 of the 2400 cattle sold. The top price was $814 a head or 256c/kg. However, Swift's John Berry said his company was only reacting to seasonal con- ditions. With Queensland awash, Swift, like the rest of the processing industry, had to adjust its business strategy to suit supply, he said. ''I would not read anything into this other than no cattle can be sourced out of central Queensland, Australia's ma- jor cattle-producing area,'' Mr Berry said. ''It is our goal to get all our plants going, and the sooner the better. But with the season the way it is, we have to respond to those conditions.'' Meat and Livestock Australia chief analyst Tim McRae predicted the cheer would extend well into the new year for cattle producers. ''We ended last year with Eastern Young Cattle Indicator at 390c/kg, which was due to the impact of a much better season in pastoral regions in NSW and Victoria,'' Mr McRae said. ''Demand for young animals to make the most of the feed out there this year is going to continue to underpin a pretty strong cattle market.'' He added that keen processor compe- tition in store pens, although unusual, could largely be attributed to flooding across southern Queensland. ''Supply is going to be an issue in the first quarter; processors are going to be keen to get their hands on good quality stock to make sure they get their volumes going through,'' he said. Most of Monday's offering was bought by processors, including Hard- wicks, and grass-finishers from Gipp- sland and southwest Victoria. Swift's Cameron Hilton bought 750 steers, destined for backgrounding or the company's three feedlots in south- ern NSW. T&R's Ben Davies bought 180 of the heavier steers, which would be fin- ished in the South Australian Wanderibby custom feedlot. Agents acting for northern and central NSW buyers, faced with a freight burden of $55-$65 a head, were also left floundering, booking fewer than 200 head. Michael Kerr said he believed the buying trend was a broader policy issue, with Swift seeking to secure cattle at an earlier age. Mr Kerr said it also indicated Swift was optimistic for the beef outlook. Meanwhile, Coles this week officially embarked on a campaign of promoting beef free of ''added hormones''. Similar to the Swift strategy, the Coles' move suggested it also wanted to take greater control of its beef supply. Market Talk, page 14 KEEN: A shortage of store cattle brought out bidders at the pre-Christmas Western End Cattle sale. Pictures: KAROLIN MacGREGOR Pre-Christmas cattle sale meets great enthusiasm TOP PRICES: Went to and Angus steers. KAROLIN MacGREGOR A CROWD of keen bidders produced top prices for vendors at the inaugural pre- Christmas Western End Cattle sale. About 470 young cattle were sold at the sale at the Smithton sale yards. A shortage of store cattle and fantastic seasonal conditions saw prices rarely dip below $600 a head across the whole yarding. Roberts livestock agent Gavin Coombe said the decision to hold a pre-Christmas store sale in the district had come after an increase in the number of store cattle being trucked out of the area for sale. ''A lot of the breeders up here used to send their calves down to Quoiba in December to sell them,'' he said. ''Some of the breeders have lifted their numbers a bit, so we thought if we could get enough cattle to make it a viable sale, it would be worth having one up here.'' The top price of $815 was achieved on a few occasions for both Angus and Hereford steers. ''That's pretty good money for 10 or 11-month-old calves,'' he said. ''It was a very good sale overall and if we can keep getting the numbers we're going to make it an annual sale.' Across the yarding, steers made an average price of $712 a head and heifers were also sought after selling for an average of $662 a head. LAMBS 7000 TUNBRIDGE CORRIEDALE FEATURE FORTHCOMING EVENTS LIVESTOCK FOR SALE a 12 a uar 2011 TAMAR VALLE LAMB SALE A 12.30 pm -- mou Farm 2500 second x lambs A/c Weymouth Farm 3500 fa ening lambs A/c Effingham Ag El r : Gr g Harr 0409 799 960 A 2.30 pm -- Gr 2000 second x lambs A/c Greenhythe Pastoral Agents in Conjunc on Sm o Sal -- on 10th January 11 30 am El r Bra k ll Foo all Clu Au o ( ul endor) Saturday 5th February at 11 am E r Clo Fr F 28 Sal oor a or A r a Ra ra : 0419 220 575 1 4yr Angus ull Landfall bloodlines, sound $2500 Da Sla r 0437 302 266 K lla a - Tues 11th January Offering includes: 350 1st & 2nd cross White Suffolk Store Lambs E u r : A o S o 0418 581 785 Mara a ga Suffolk & Hamp r Ram Sal Thursday 20th January at 1pm at arananga E andale E u r : A o S o 0418 581 785 Greg arris 0409 799 960 an Richards 0458 130 596 Full details & photos please isit: www elders com au select Rural Ser ices li estock Sale d: S195965 LIVESTOCK www.elders.com.au Phone: 6332 2302 2031635-110107 FRIDA 14 ANUAR at the conclusion of the Roberts Sale Off r g 800 Corr al E Glenmorey 250 1½ yr Corriedale ewes 300 5½ yr Corriedale ewes Kuranda 160 1½ yr Corriedale ewes 160 1½ yr Corriedale ewes E u r : A o S o 0418 581 785
December 23rd 2010
January 13th 2011