Full paddocks at some processors reduced buyer numbers at saleyards all over the state, resulting in cheaper trends for heavy cows and bulls.
Light calves continued to sell well in the south, where the season is the best in 20 years while in the north, where there's no where to put them, similar progeny failed to attract bidding competition.
At Tamworth plainer cows made the same but the better, heavier end slipped from the high of 290c/kg three weeks ago to 236c/kg on Monday, a fairdip reported Patrick Purtle, Purtle Plevey Agencies Manilla.
"Processors are spoken for up to Christmas so there has been less competition," he said. "But there's still a lot of confidence in the meat job."
Vealer heifers at Tamworth sold to 244c/kg, same as last week while yearlings made to 279c/kg, back from 290c/kg last week and grown heifers sold to 255c/kg, also back from last week's high of 270c/kg.
Processors are spoken for up to Christmas so there has been less competition, but there's still a lot of confidence in the meat job.Patrick Purtle, Manilla
At Inverell on Tuesday numbers were well back and quality mixed with agent Ben Lehman saying prices went to 224c/kg for best cows but top feeder steers from Wamerana Pastoral at Myall Creek made 315c/kg while the light blacks topped at 324c/kg going to Victoria.
Southern Victorian restockers continue to lift the market, contributing to the 10 cents a kilogram rise on last week for light steers at Wagga, on Monday. Best yearling steers made 317 cents a kilogram and heavy steers went to $1877.
"There's plenty of southern demand and optimism for the season after Christmas," said Riverina Livestock agent James Tierney. "People are having a punt that things will get better."
Certainly demand for Australian beef remains remarkable. One only has to look at the third quarter results from global processor JBS to understand the hunger for protein continuing to come out of China.
Cattle in prime condition to the processors made to a dearer trend at Gunnedah where the MLA observer reported good quality yearling steers in all weight classes sold on a firm to slightly dearer trend.
A line of vealer steers, 200 to 280 kilograms showing muscle score C, fat score 2, sold to restockers for 306 cents a kilogram while C2 feeder steers, 330-400kg sold to 297.5c/kg.
Further north bidding competition thinned out.
At Scone Maccallum Inglis agent Stewart Shelldrake said processors like Wingham Beef Exports, JBS and Bindaree Beef were noticeably quiet, while others like EC Throsby at Singleton took the opportunity to buy into better quality cows, many headed for Mountain Station at Merriwa for backgrounding.
Hilltop Meats at Young also put cattle away for a rainy day when the supply drought will begin in earnest.