The numbers game and Central Australia's ongoing drought saw an easing in prices paid for young cattle at Blackall's sale on Thursday.
The 3000 head at the western Queensland yarding was alongside 12,000 head at Roma, 8000 head at Dalby, 5000 head at Emerald, and a yarding of 3000 at Rockhampton for the week.
GDL Blackall yarded around 700 weaners each from Aileron and Anningie Stations, north of Alice Springs, and Matt McLane said conditions were very tough in the southern part of the Northern Territory at present.
"What you're seeing is people there taking their weaners off to save their breeding herd and spread them out," he said.
"The prices at Blackall eased in line with market trends across eastern markets this week.
"Light cattle are struggling everywhere at present."
Landmark Western had 430 head of young cattle from Lambina, south of Alice Springs, at the sale and Boyd Curran said they'd come to Blackall because it was their best market at present.
"It's closest to the grass further north," he said. "The growth is slow from the latest rain but the moisture in the ground means it will continue to grow and be ideal for sheep and cattle fattening."
Mr McLane said Northern Livestock and Cattle had been active at the sale to put together a good run of cattle for country at Julia Creek, and there had been some interest from around Winton.
"There's not a lot of local interest at the moment; there hasn't been a big grass response and follow-up will be needed," he said.
Cattle were sourced from Blackall, Tambo, Charleville and Barcaldine along with the consignments from Alice Springs, Muttaburra, Aramac, Jericho and Longreach.
According to Friday's report, the market remained relatively strong on an overall yarding of mixed quality cattle.
Prime cattle sold well, with heavy bullocks making to a top of 277.2c/kg and heavy cows to a top 231.2c/kg.
Store cattle sold to solid market, again depending on quality; 400kg feeder steers sold to 276.2c/kg with lighter feeder steers 350 to 400kg sold to 274.2c/kg.
Lightweight steers under 220kg sold to a top of 289.2c/kg. Heavy Heifers sold to 248.0c/kg, and light heifers sold to 222.2/kg.
- Ravenswood Pastoral Co, Aramac sold Droughtmaster steers for 252.2c at 214.6kg to return $541.18 per head.
- Winton Common sold Charbray steers for 274.2c at 350kg to return $$959.70 per head.
- Fortuna Pastoral Co, Aramac sold Brahman mickeys for 250.2 at 347.5 to return $869.45.
- Ravenswood Pastoral Co, Aramac sold Droughtmaster cows for 206.2 at 454kg to return $936.15 per head.
- Richard Scarr, Winton sold Brahman bulls for 237.2c at 610kg to return $1446.92.
- Fortuna Pastoral Co, Aramac sold Brahman bulls for 240.2c at 695kg returning $1669.39 per head.
- Stan and Kathy Lees, Barcaldine sold Charbray heifers for 206.2 at 435 to return $896.97.
- Sir William Allen, Alice Downs, Blackall sold Santa steers for 266.1c/kg averaging 143.8kg to return $382.45 p/hd.
- DR&JK Allen, Tarcombe, Longreach sold Droughtmaster heifers for 248.0c/kg averaging 455 kg to return $1128.40 p/hd.
- Bull Creek Pty Ltd, Terrick Terrick, Blackall sold Santa bulls for 227.2c/kg averaging 705 kg to return $1601.76 p/hd.
- AW&K Fennel, Lambina, Marla sold Charolais x steers for 260.2 c/kg averaging 304.5 kg to return $792.43.
- Hall Family, Betanga, Alpha sold Charolais steers for 194.2c/kg at 432.5 kg to return $839.92p/hd.
- SW & P Warner, Merimo, Eulo sold Beefmaker bulls for 209c/kg at 533.3kg to return $1115.73.
- Western Head Grazing, Glanworth, Charleville sold Santa steers for 226.2c/kg averaging 130.9kg to return $295.99 p/hd.
- GJ & JM Bambling, Glenavon, Aramac sold Brahman X cows for 220.2c/kg weighing 592.5kg to return $1305/hd.
- A & K Day, Jaccondoll, Barcaldine sold Charolais cows for 216.2c/kg weighing 542.5kg returning $1172/hd.
- M & M Campbell Pty Ltd, Boulia sold Brahman X cows for 216.2c/kg weighing 527kg returning $1139/hd.
- GJ & JM Bambling, Glenavon, Aramac sold red Brahman steers for 262.2c/kg weighing 341kg returning $894/hd. They also sold red Brahman heifers for 202.2c/kg weighing 312kg returning $631/hd.
- RA & TL Bambling, Glenavon, Aramac sold Charolais X steers for 296.2c/kg weighing 280kg returning $829/hd.
- Clarenden Cattle Co, Clarenden, Blackall sold Droughtmaster X steers for 284.2c/kg weighing 172kg to return $488/hd.
- Ryrie Grazing, Mt Pleasant, sold Charolais steers at 287c/kg weighing 289kg to return $831/hd, and heifers at 222c/kg weighing 275kg to return $611/hd.
- Cody Hay sold Brahman cows at 217c/kg weighing 525kg to return $1140/hd.
- AR & JA Hay, Eka, Jericho sold a Santa Gertrudis bull at 239c/kg weighing 715kg to return $1710.28.
- Ben and Jaye Hall, Bibil, Muttaburra sold Brahman cows to a top of 223 c/kg weighing 540 kg to return $1206 per head. They also sold Brahman cross heavy steers to a top of 277 c/kg weighing 560 kg to return $1552 per head.
- MHG and JJ O'Dell, Colorado, Jericho sold Charolais cows to a top of 231 c/kg weighing 579 kg to return $1332 per head. Their weaner steers sold to a top of 271 c/kg weighing 304 kg to return $824 per head. Their weaner heifers sold to a top of 220 c/g weighing 313 kg to return $690 per head.