A SURGE in confidence within the feedlot and processing industry continued to drive demand at the Central Queensland Livestock Exchange (CQLX) prime and store cattle sale on Wednesday, where early steer prices soared.
There was a much bigger yarding of 2,805 head at CQLX Gracemere, with an extra 490 head yarded.
Cattle were drawn from north to Bowen and Collinsville and most local areas as far south as Taroom, with a large number of small vendor lots.
The usual processors were operating as well as the regular feeders with the restocker panel changing from week to week.
Morgan Harris from TopX Gracemere said cattle had so far sold to a "firm to dearer" trend.
"The sale has only just started with the bullocks and it's trending maybe 10 to 15 cents dearer and we're definitely up on last week's rates," Mr Harris said.
"Numbers are up about 1000 head off last week roughly.
"(There are) not a lot of lines in, but condition is very good on what is here.
"The cow market is looking fairly firm to slightly dearer on last week's sale."
Mr Harris sold a pen of 22 Akubra Downs Santa cross Charbray bullocks, averaging 633 kilograms, on account of Paul and Margaret Kirkwood, Yeppoon, early in the day, with Teys Australia paying 448c/kg or $2840 per head.
"The Kirkwood family have offered a very good pen of well presented steers, very well finished, which were very desirable to the processors on the day," Mr Harris said.
Paul's son Bill Kirkwood of Maryvale, north of Yeppoon, helps manage his parent's beef operation at Akubra Downs and also sold 11 steers for 428c/kg.
Mr Kirkwood said the family's beef operation had enjoyed a good wet season, and now was the right time to sell.
"We bought three decks in this week and we just planned on selling them this time of the year and we figured prices would be good," Mr Kirkwood said.
"Morgan did a good job of selling them for us and we're really happy with the prices that we got for them."
Light yearling steers to 280kgs topped at 948c/kg to return averages from 668c to 878c/kg, relative to the quality on offer.
Medium pens averaged from 599c to 666c/kg with a few over four hundred kilograms averaging 563c/kg.
Yearling heifers under 280kgs made to 754c/kg to average from 618c to 722c/kg whilst the medium weights averaged from 513c to 666c/kg.
Grown steers went mostly to feedlots with averages from 473c/kg to 575c/kg reflecting the variation in quality penned.
Processors paid from 420c to 436c/kg for their grown steers. Grown heifers went to feedlots to average from 464c to 503c/kg whilst those to the trade made from 415c to 448c/kg average. A few to restockers averaged from 470c to 515c/kg.
Prime, heavy, four score cows sold to 415c/kg to average 403c/kg.
Heavy bulls to processors averaged 359c/kg whilst a few bulls destined for the rodeo ring made to 620c/kg.
Cows and calves reached a $4,000 top with the better- bred units selling from $3,500. PTIC cows sold from $2,100 to $2,700 per head.
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