Cattle prices on the increase as lot feeders stock up

Charolais heifers for sale at the Macksville cattle sales last week.

DESPITE fears of a dry summer, the growing season has been a productive one for cattle farmers and prices have continued to increase steadily since their October 2023 low.

589 head of cattle passed through the saleyards in Macksville last Thursday and prices were at their highest in nine months – since the end of autumn.

Coffs harbour Digital AdAdvertise with News of The Area today.
It’s worth it for your business.
Message us.
Phone us – (02) 4981 8882.
Email us –

“The weather bureau was predicting a dry season and that reflected in early prices,” Auctioneer Jessie Stanton of G J Kennedy and Co. told News Of The Area, “but we’ve had good rain since then and everyone has a lot more confidence now.”

The only category not topping last fortnight’s price was ‘bulls’, but according to Jessie, this is because there were relatively few and only heavier bulls up for auction last week.

“Other than that, all sectors increased per kilogram with steers reaching the top price of $4.20 per kg and an average price of $3.49,” he said.

Heifers came in at between $2.91 and $3.40 per kg liveweight.

Compared to last year when average prices had dropped to below $2 per kg, this can make a huge difference to the price of a 500+kg animal.

According to Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) the nationwide feeder steer indicator (prices over seven days across all sales) lifted by 98 cents per kilogram liveweight and although numbers of feeder steer for sale increased slightly, this price rise was attributed to strong competition from lot feeders looking to secure their stock.

Prices last week in Macksville were not quite as high as those seen in other areas of the country, with Queensland outperforming other states although Victoria did record the highest price rise.

Since prices are a result of supply and demand, some differences could be attributed to the large number of animals for sale (589) on Wednesday in Macksville.

“From now over the next few months we should see more weaners coming onto the market leading up to our main weaner sale in May.”


Leave a Reply