Overall quality was slightly lower compared with the previous two years at this week’s annual Alice Springs store cattle.
While the slightly lower quality of cattle offered was put down to some drier conditions of late, it did not seem to deter the mainly southern buyers from paying good prices, especially when considering the freight component that has to be added to get the stock home.
The main buying strength was provided by local and interstate buyers, with some lightweight bulls and steers going to the live trade.
There was a solid order from agents in NSW for mainly Santa Gertrudis cross heifers, with local Alice Springs orders also sourcing Droughtmaster and Bos Indicus cross heifers that may have been in calf.
Most steers and heifers sold in line with southern saleyard prices, with the only exception being a small number of 4 tooth steers, along with some heifers that may have been pregnant and not suitable for the southern buyers.
Murray Grey weaner steers sold from between 180¢-187¢/kg lwt, with the Black Baldies reaching 192¢/kg lwt.
Angus steers were in small supply and sold to 180¢/kg lwt, with Herefords also averaging 180¢/kg lwt.
One pen of Droughtmaster steers sold to 190¢/kg lwt, with a D muscled sale at 130¢/kg lwt.
Lightweight Hereford bulls destined for live export sold to a market top of 220¢/kg lwt following some protracted bidding.
Hereford milk teeth steers topped the yearling run, with most selling between 165¢ and 196¢/kg lwt.
Red Angus steers sold between 181¢/kg lwt and 189¢/kg lwt, with the British crosses slightly lower between 173¢ and 177¢/kg lwt.
Santa Gertrudis prices ranged from 155¢/kg lwt to 192¢/kg lwt, with offerings with more than two teeth at the lower end of the range.
A few Charolais cross steers sold to 179¢/kg lwt. Droughtmaster steers sold between 160¢ and 182¢/kg lwt.
Overall, the 2,729 steers offered ranged from a low of $335.50/head, to a market topping high of $920.80/head.
The heifers were harder to sell at times, with most of the Hereford heifers selling between 164¢ and 174¢/kg lwt. Small lines of Droughtmaster heifers sold between 150¢ and 153¢/kg lwt.
Yearling heifers, with some showing signs of being pregnant, sold from 120¢ and 163¢/kg lwt.
The Droughtmaster heifers sold from 145¢ and 156¢’kg lwt, with some well-bred Shorthorns reaching 171¢/kg lwt.
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