Last week's yarding at CQLX Gracemere was capped to 2300 head last week to cater for the February All Breeds sale earlier in the week, a decrease of 2270 head from the previous week.
Quality was good throughout the yarding drawn mostly from local areas. The usual processors and feeders were in attendance along with a number of additional restockers.
A southern operator snapped up a line of Droughtmaster heifers for 490c/kg to use as breeders.
G Perry from Nine Mile supplied the Droughtmaster cattle, with the heifers weighing in at 234kg to return $1150/head, while a local backgrounder secured the steers from the same run for 550c/kg, which weighed 265kg to equal $1460/head.
Morgan Harris, TopX Gracemere, said all young cattle sold to a firm market, and the heifer price had climbed compared to last week, with the average price for yearling heifers between 434c/kg to 489c/kg.
"Buyers chasing breeding stock, as well as backgrounding cattle, were dominant in the heifer market and the prices reflected the quality presented," Mr Harris said.
Calves made to 573c to average 511c/kg for mixed sexes.
Light weight yearling steers reached a top of 567c to average from 460c to 507c/kg. Medium weight pens topped at 483c to average from 434c to 465c/kg for the majority sold.
Yearling heifers sold to 483c/kg for those under 280kg, recording averages from 434c to 489c/kg with the major run going to processors.
Medium and heavy pens averaged from 405c to 444c/kg and were shared between feeders and processors. Feeders averaged from 409c to 426c with sales to 433c/kg for grown steers.
Bullocks to processors made to 375c and averaged from 358c to 370c/kg relative to finish.
Feeder grown heifers sold to 423c with most averaging 379c to 393c/kg. Those grown heifers to the trade averaged from 302c to 325c/kg.
Two score cows sold to a top of 279c and average of 253c/kg. Four score cows topped at 288c and averaged 276c/kg for the heavy pens.
Heavy bulls went mostly to live export at 310c average and top of 320c/kg.
The better-bred cows and calves made from $2000 to $2800/unit.
Highlights included Allyson Moffitt's Brangus steer offering, which reached 556c/kg and weighed 233kg to return $1300/head.
P Mossman, Ubobo, sold 298kg Shorthorn cross weaner steers for 446c/kg to receive $1331/head.
In the heavier categories, a quality 443kg Santa Gertrudis offering from S Osborne returned $1942/head when bought for 426c/kg.
Barmoya vendor, G and L Blamires, had a good result for their 512kg Brangus steers that reached 400c/kg to return $2051/head.
For the heifers EM and RF Bella, Nebo, made 464c/kg for their 297kg pen which returned $1381/head. The Brangus offering will head north to Finch Hatton for buyer David and Christine Roberts.
R and R Woodrow sold 352kg Charbray heifers for 438c/kg to make $1542/head.
Demand for cows and calves pushed prices to average around $2000/unit, while David Smith, Marmor, topped this category with a quality Brangus pen that reached $2800/unit.
Looking ahead, Mr Harris believed the yarding size would bounce back to the usual numbers at next week's sale.
"We think the higher prices will continue, as the market is in a strong position at the moment," Mr Harris said.
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The story Southern operator snaps up Droughtmaster heifers for 490c/kg at Gracemere first appeared on North Queensland Register.