AS THE calendar moves ever closer to the true Victorian winter yarding numbers at the Central Victorian Livestock Exchange (CVLX) Ballarat monthly cattle store sale show no sign of easing off, in spite of the murmurings of increasing shortages of supply.
And with the prices on offer, it is easy to see why vendors continue to look to get cattle into the sale.
Last week there was another impressive yarding of 4200, which saw heavy steers sell to a top on a per head basis of $2690 and younger spring drop steers making up to 650 cents a kilogram.
Graeme Nicholson, Elders Ballarat, said the strong results at the Ballarat sale were keeping numbers high.
"Vendors see the results here and decide to bring their cattle here, we're seeing more cattle arriving for sale from outside the traditional catchment area," Mr Nicholson said.
He made note of the performance of the heavier steers, including the two top price pens of solitary Angus steers that made the $2690 and a larger yarding of 10 Angus steers, 623kg, to $2660, or 427c/kg.
"All the heavier Angus steers sold exceptionally well, in fact most lines right throughout the sale did, except maybe for some of the lighter secondary lines," Mr Nicholson said.
He said heavier cattle, in the 500kg plus category, mainly went in excess of 440c/kg right up to just short of 500c/kg, while lighter lines consistently made 550c/kg or better, culminating in some sub 250kg pens that went for up to 650c/kg.
Grant Daniell, Charles Stewart and Co, was also thrilled with the sale.
"In general the stock were a little lighter, which is reflective of the season, but the money is still there, the heavier stock sold really well and you're also seeing things get red-hot for the lighter stuff as buyers get worried they won't be able to get their hands on stock when it gets to spring," Mr Daniell said.
He said the large Ballarat sale had followed on from a big yarding at Mortlake earlier in the week.
"We're always talking about running out of cattle yet the yardings continue to be huge, and while we're at these prices I think we'll continue to see people bring them in."
Mr Nicholson said there was a diverse mix of buyers at the sale.
"There were still plenty of people buying on consignment for northern interests, there were trucks heading to Armidale and Dubbo, NSW after the sale," he said.
"We also saw strong interest from the lot-feeders within Victoria, while there was also a little local demand, which you could attribute to this being one of the last sales of the financial year and people looking to minimise their tax burden," he said.
Mr Daniell said the NSW demand was particularly strong for the lighter lines, while he said the lot-feeders were big volume buyers, particularly at the larger and medium ends of the sale.
"We had TFI, Teys and all those guys very active, they were all prepared to pay for quality stock and that is what we had there on Friday - the cattle presented beautifully," Mr Daniell said.