It's been a record breaking week for the Australian cattle market with grass fever and a severe shortage of cattle driving the Eastern Young Cattle Indicator to a new high of 744.25c/kg (carcase weight) on Thursday - well above the previous record set in August 2016, of 725.75c/kg.
The strength of the market has been seen at markets right across the eastern seaboard, prompting a flurry of red hot sale reports to hit our news sites.
A highlight of the week has been the 80th annual Mountain Calf Sales in Victoria where strong competition saw the average prices close to double the levels of 12 months ago.
Hinnomunjie smashes price ceiling
At Hinnomunjie, Victoria, strong demand from across Gippsland, South Australia and northern NSW drove prices to never-before-seen levels.
The yarding of nearly 1000 calves averaged $1117 a head across all breeds.
Read our full report and watch our video here: Hinnomunjie smashes price ceiling to average $1117
Roan heifers to $1810 at Omeo
A big crowd was on hand at the Omeo sale yards for the final Mountain Calf Sale on Wednesday which saw this year's penning of steers averaged $1443, well above the $777 recorded in 2019, while the heifers averaged $1161 ($645 in 2019).
Elders livestock manager David Hill, Omeo, said the quality of the cattle at the 80th annual sale was a feature.
He singled out the draft of Hereford/Shorthorn-cross, April-May-drop heifer calves forwarded by AJ & BJ Ah Sam, Omeo, that topped the sale at $1810.
Full report here: Roan heifers to $1810 at Omeo 80th sale
Cows and calves reach $3050
Meanwhile, the results from the Wodonga sale this week left many restockers wondering just how they'll afford to get back into breeders.
There were just under 3000 head yarded for the sale where some lighter steers made more than 500c/kg and cows and calves sold to $3050 a unit.
Read more and watch our video here: Cows and calves to $3050 at Wodonga
$2000 for weaner steers at Grafton
A special feeder and weaner sale at Grafton on Thursday also lived up to expectation with strong buyer competition pushing bids to more than $2000 for steers while weaner heifers topped at 486 cents a kilogram.
Steers to 400kg dominated the yarding with 1384 on offer, averaging 420.8c/kg and $1122, reaching a top of 524c/kg and $1688.
Read the full report here: Western buyers and grass fever drive bids at Grafton feeder and weaner sale
Heavy steer supplies tight
All selling centres are certainly reporting a severe shortage of heavy cattle.
At Yassin, NSW, a yarding of 985 head last Thursday, only 15 weighed heavier than 540 kilograms and that was a fairly typical reflection on the availability of finished heavy stock.
Read more: Heavy steer supply tight
Roma yards 3400 head
In Queensland, agents have been surprised by the size of some of the yardings as decent numbers continue to flow into centres like Roma.
A total of 3403 head of cattle sold at Roma on Tuesday, with weaner steers under 220kg topping at 482c and cows and calves reaching $1850/unit.
Read the full Roma report here: Droughtmaster cross weaner steers reach 482c/$1608 at Roma store sale