In focus: South-western Victoria

03 December 2015

Similar to most of southern Australia, south-western Victoria had ‘below average’ rainfall during winter. November saw the region receive from 10-25mm while rainfall from August to October ranged from 25-100mm and was more widespread than that received the year previous.


The number of cattle consigned to saleyards in the region during September and October contracted from year-ago levels as availability tightened. November saw yarding’s lift year-on-year at many selling centres, as more finished cattle entered the market and producers offloaded before the predicted hot and dry summer arrives.

Quality, although having seasonally improved during November, consisted of more store types and resulted in a larger proportion of the yarding’s over the last few months purchased by restockers or put on feed. The market share bought by processors decreased 6% year-on-year during November and 12% in September.

Prices across the south-west Victorian selling centres recovered much of the drop in prices that occurred during October and continue to fluctuate as mixed quality cattle are consigned. This week;

  • Heavy C3 yearling steers to slaughter in Ballarat eased 15¢ to average 272¢, D2’s to restockers at Colac averaged 255¢, up 25¢ while similar steers at Camperdown reached 272¢ and averaged 268.9¢ and C3 heavy weights to feed at Warrnambool were 5¢ dearer on 291.2¢/kg lwt.
  • Yearling C3 heifers in the heavy weight category to slaughter eased 12¢ to average 261.2¢ at Ballarat, while those at Warrnambool remained price on 272.2c and D2 medium weights to processors slipped 22¢ to average 197.6¢/kg lwt at Camperdown.
  • C4 heavy beef cows yarded at Ballarat sold for an average of 227.7¢ to processors, back 7¢ and D2’s at Colac were 19¢ dearer on 213.9¢ while dairy cows offered at Warrnambool sold 28¢ dearer, averaging 235.3¢ and those at Camperdown averaged 191.5¢, up 9¢/kg lwt.


The dry conditions across the drawing areas for the Hamilton, Horsham and Ballarat selling centres have been reflected in the early onset of the new season lamb sales. Weight remains high and quality good, although some lambs have been showing dryness in the skin. Yarding’s have reflected these conditions, with lamb yarding’s increasing each month over September, October and November and are up year-on-year over the last three months. The exception was Horsham, which saw larger yarding’s during September and recorded a decline over October and November.

Restocker interest was high during September and October, but has since declined, with processors and buying a higher market share during November.

Prices remain reasonably strong as seasonal supply increases. This week;

  • Young light trade lambs to slaughter at Horsham were back 13¢, averaging 503¢ while heavier trade weights were 5¢ dearer to average 518¢ and those at Ballarat lifted 12¢ to 528¢/kg cwt. Hamilton’s Monday sale saw heavier trade weights lift 7¢ to 502¢ and those at Wednesday’s sale reach 536¢ and averaged 518¢, up 9¢/kg cwt.
  • Medium weight 3 score Merino ewes at Horsham eased 10¢ to 323¢, those penned at Hamilton were 3¢ cheaper on 315¢ and similar ewes at Ballarat were 1¢ dearer on 335¢/kg cwt.

The Bureau of Meteorology’s short term forecast predicts the region to receive 1-5mm over the coming week and hot and dry conditions are expected to continue.

Back to News

Join myMLA today

One username and password for key integrity and information Systems (LPA/NVD, NLIS, MSA & LDL).

A personalised online dashboard that provides news, weather, events and R&D tools relevant to you.

Customised market information and analysis.

Learn more about myMLA

myMLA Sign Up

Already registered for myMLA?

Sign in here