Drought pushes up yarding numbers in Dalby

Over 9000 head sell in one of the bigger yardings of 2019 in Dalby

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Agents were kept busy selling a huge yarding in Dalby on November 20. Picture: Amy Moloney

Agents were kept busy selling a huge yarding in Dalby on November 20. Picture: Amy Moloney

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Producers consign cattle from local supply areas as well as far western Queensland as the drought takes another bite.

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FEEDLOT and meatworks buyers played a strong hand at the Dalby Saleyards on November 20, snaring the majority of the largest local yarding in a decade.

A report from Landmark confirmed a yarding of 9074, down from earlier predictions of "about 10,000 head" but huge nonetheless.

Peter Daniel, GDL Dalby, said the sale was a "monster" in size but not in processing.

"We can accommodate 10,000 head at the saleyards and we did have that number about 25 years ago," he said.

"But it was a big day all the same. We started early and finished late and it went like clockwork. All the agents get on with one another."

The vast majority of cattle, according to the Landmark report, were drawn from local supply areas as well as 1000 head from western region. It is understood some cattle came from Thargomindah.

Light weight yearling steers returning to the paddock were well supplied and received, while medium weight yearling steers to feed were also in large numbers and average prices eased.

Heavy grown steers and bullocks to export processor eased 18c/kg to 20c/kg. The supply of cows to processor exceeded demand and average prices reduced by 20-30c/kg.

Light weight yearling steers returning to the paddock mostly sold around 258c/kg with some fetching as much as to 284.2c/kg. Medium weight yearling steers to feed made to 320.2c/kg in pen lots with a very large number averaging 298c/kg.

Heavy weight yearling steers to feed made to 328.2c/kg with a fair sample averaging 305c/kg. Light weight yearling heifers to restockers or background averaged 218c/kg and made to 251.2c/kg.

The best of the medium weight yearling heifers to feed made to 289.2c, while plain condition classes mostly sold around 252c/kg.

Heavy steers to export processor made to 311.2c/kg to average 308c/kg and a few bullocks averaged 303c/kg.

A large number of good heavy cows mostly sold around 254c/kg, with some from the far west reaching 267.2c/kg. Heavy bulls made to 311.2c/kg.

Peter Bird, Ray White Eastern Rural, said the overall results were good.

"While the final yarding was a bit less than anticipated, it was still a big sale and not unlike the first sale we had for the year back in January," Mr Bird said.

"Fortunately for producers, who have to sell, the market is holding up and as we know a lot of producers are selling," he said.

"A lot of people have been holding off, hoping things might turn around but the rain hasn't fallen and there's nothing on the horizon to suggest a change any time soon. Besides, Christmas is approaching and the industry sort of closes down for a few weeks, so now is the time to move cattle."

Mr Bird also reported trade feeder steers averaged 308c/kg after hitting a ceiling of 326c/kg and trade feeder heifers were firm at 290c/kg averaging 272c/kg.

Weaner steers attracted bids up to 305c/kg and averaged 268c/kg and the market for weaner heifers was firm, topping out at 260cs/kg to average 218c/kg.

The Dalby Saleyards will host an additional sale on December 18 to cope with demand. They did likewise in 2018.

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