Despite being dry, the anticipation of rain and the upsurge of restocker activity within the northern market zone made for a stronger result at Western Victoria Livestock Exchange, Mortlake, last Thursday, when 1600 head was offered at the March store cattle market.
Bruce Redparth, Elders, said a full field of feeders and two keen South Australian restocker orders made for a much brighter day at the office.
Mr Redpath said resultant prices for grown steers were 5-8 cents a kilogram higher as a top price of 311c/kg was marked and rates consistently exceeded 300c/kg.
He said there were 12 or 14 pens of quality bred grown steers yarded.
"The season is very dry in these parts and there are plenty of cattle receiving meals on wheels," he said.
"But the season has turned and there is an anticipation for rain which has inspired those wanting cattle and delighted those with cattle to sell."
Bernie Grant, whose company LMB Linke sold an impressive B-Double of EU-accredited Angus steers, August/September 2017-drop, said that cattle with weight and condition were keenly sought after.
"It didn't matter what the colour or the breed, if they have the weight and condition they were wanted," Mr Grant said.
Sold by Condah Hills, Condah, its first yard of 53, 456 kilograms, made 311c/kg or $1418 a head on a bid placed by Princess Royal Feedlot, Burra, SA, while a second yard of 22, 421kg, realised 309c/kg or $1300, selling to Penola, SA, agency TDC, with both lots retained to the EU-system.
The best of the weighed weaner steers made to 310-312c/kg, Mr Redpath said.
Demand in this section of the market was also improved compared to the centre's month-earlier sale as prices increased by 10-14c/kg or $30- $40.
Sales of younger weaners also met with improved interest as lighter steer prices rose to 330/kg.
These sales included a large draft of well-bred, mixed-sex Angus and Angus/Hereford calves, consigned from the Bathurst area of NSW.
With average weights about the 150kg mark, these made to $400 for the steers and $450 for the heifer portion of the draft.
Sales of open auction steers topped at $960, as most made $600-$880.
Open auction heifers made $500-$700.
Mr Grant said demand was much the same for heifers as pens offering weight and condition suiting feedlot entry sold exceptionally well at around the 250-275c/kg mark.
"It appears to be a fair indication of what's to come," Mr Grant said.
The market's best-priced grown heifers made 274c/kg.
These were an outstanding yard of Angus judged as the best presented on the day.
The award went to Matt Dimic, Gellibrand River Angus, and the pen weighed 464kg.
Cows and calves topped at $1525 per outfit and joined heifers made to $1425.
Mr Redpath said the demand for joined females was not as buoyant as the rest of the sale with most realising prices only marginally above kill value.
*See more photos from the sale at stockandland.com.au
The weather is still very dry in these parts with plenty of cattle receiving meals on wheels but there is the anticipation the season is changing.