The western Queensland cattle market opened very strongly at Blackall on Thursday, in all markets, when just under 1900 head were yarded.
Ben and Kim Simpson from Thistlebank at Aramac topped the sale with their 85 Simmental Charbray Braford cross No 9 steers, making 418.2c/kg.
The top pen of 32 Simmental cross steers, weighing an average 242kg, returned $1015/head, when they were sold to meatworks.
GDL Blackall manager Jack Burgess said the Simpsons had received good rain but wanted to take advantage of anticipated good markets.
"Heavy fat cows made over $3 - these are prices unseen here at Blackall before," he said. "Greg and Jill Peck at Purtora, east of Blackall, sold cows for 314c/kg. Our previous highest price was 270c/kg."
As well as processors, feedlotters were very active, bidding on anything big enough to feed.
According to the Meat & Livestock Australia report, there was very good competition on all grades with local, interstate and one northern processor operating on lines of finished cattle, while strong local support saw gains on restocker lines.
Lightweight restocker steers topped at 418c to average 393c, medium weight restocker steers made to 380c, averaging 352c, while heavy weight feeder steers sold up to 378c, to average 373c/kg.
Heifers to the paddock sold to 327c to average 306c, medium weight feeder heifers made to 334c and heifers over 400kg topped at 332c/kg.
Good competition on grown cattle saw steers over 550kg hit 370.2c and good heavy cows sold to 318.2c/kg.
Medium weight cows sold to 310c with most around 299c, while cows returning to the paddock averaged 233c/kg. Heavy bulls sold to 320.2c/kg and cows and calves sold to $1220 and averaged $920/unit.
Cattle came from most normal areas, including local, Barcaldine, Tambo, Charleville, Jericho, Aramac and Winton areas.
A continued strong market is expected at the weaner and feeder sale on February 27, for which 3000 head are already booked.
"Supply is short," Mr Burgess said. "With a little bit of feed around now, no-one is keen to sell until their cattle are properly finished."