Weaner beef in de­mand

South Waikato News - - Community Cookbook - GERALD PIDDOCK

Good grass cov­ers, a ris­ing mar­ket and de­mand out­strip­ping sup­ply has seen weaner beef cat­tle prices sky­rocket at sales all over the North Is­land.

The good prices started at the an­nual weaner steer and bull sales in North­land in early March where prices ranged from $1380 for a pen of 485kg calves to $1170-$1250.

An­other pen of 352kg an­gus weaner calves from ven­dor, Hokianga Har­bour farmer John Klaracich sold for $1125/head at the Kaikohe sale.

Klaracich said five years ago he would have re­ceived $650 per head for a sim­i­lar pen of cat­tle.

PGG Wright­son North­land live­stock man­ager Bernie Mc­ga­han said the qual­ity of the wean­ers was strong and as a re­sult the prices were up on last year.

‘‘Over­all, there has been strong in­ter­est from buy­ers in both the King Coun­try, Whanganui and Bulls ar­eas. The an­i­mals will do well in an area that hasn’t had the dry sum­mer like we have had up north.’’

The good prices car­ried on into the heifer sales with prices on some lines up by $100 and very good de­mand from buy­ers.

A typ­i­cal 250-260kg pen of heifers av­er­aged $3.50-$3.60/kg liveweight across the sales in North­land.

‘‘In North­land, we are mak­ing a name for our­selves for breed­ing very nice beef cat­tle.’’

Mc­ga­han said the high de­mand was a re­sult of a com­bi­na­tion of fac­tors.

The beef sched­ule con­tin­ued to be strong and good au­tumn grass cov­ers in Waikato, King Coun­try, Taupo and Bay of Plenty meant over half of the cat­tle yarded at the sales headed south over the Auckland Har­bour Bridge.

There was also a low sup­ply of qual­ity beef an­i­mals avail­able in New Zealand, he said.

‘‘We have seen peo­ple up here that we have never seen be­fore and that tells me there is a short­age of cat­tle.’’

They in­cluded all types of beef breeds rang­ing from charo­lais and sim­men­tals to the more tra­di­tional an­gus and here­ford types.

Most of the wean­ers bought would be fin­ished at 18 months to two years be­fore be­ing sold for slaugh­ter.

The high prices achieved at the re­cent weaner beef cat­tle sales in North­land has set a bench­mark.

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