Brahman Week bulls off to a blistering start

Jon Condon, 04/10/2016

Image: Kent Ward, KB Consulting


BUYER confidence fuelled by an extraordinary winter-spring season and near record high slaughter and live export cattle prices has seen the opening day of selling at the annual Rockhampton Brahman Week Sale yesterday hit stratospheric levels.

In what is already shaping-up to be the greatest multi-vendor bull sale result in Australia’s history, there was a complete clearance of 303 bulls on day-one of the three day sale yesterday for an unbelievable $11,996 average.

The day-one catalogue did include what’s known as the “Breeder’s Choice” section, where each vendor has the option to nominate one bull if they choose to, for inclusion. Not all vendors take-up the option.

‘Ferocious’ bidding

Australian Brahman Breeders Association president Shane Bishop, Garglen Brahmans, Gympie, said yesterday was easily the best day’s selling he had ever seen in the Brahman industry.

“The ferocity of the bidding was just amazing,” he said.

“The auctioneers were barely getting each bull’s summary out of their mouths before the bidding would explode.”

“The auctioneers were barely getting each bull’s summary out of their mouths before the bidding would explode.”

Mr Bishop said while genuine seedstock bull breeder buyers were very active, it was among the ‘middle-ground’ commercial bullock producers where perhaps the greatest buying strength was seen.

“That bullock producer buyer has more than doubled his rates this year, in some cases. Those good, everyday bulls that were making $5000 in earlier times were making $10,000 yesterday; and the better herd bulls that were previously making $10,000 were yesterday making $15,000.

“There were plenty of northern herd bull buyers yesterday whose normal price range was $5000-$6000, who yesterday were averaging $10,000-$12,000 for good, solid beef bulls. It was unbelievable,” Mr Bishop said.

NT, Kimberley buyers making a comeback

The tremendous winter-spring seasonal turnaround across large parts of eastern Australia, coupled with near record live export and meatworks cattle prices had driven buyer sentiment, he said.

“Cattle prices are the best I have witnessed in a lifetime, and it is so pleasing to see producers getting good returns on the cattle market. Everyone is confident, and have money in their pocket.”

While in some past years, Brahman Week has tended to run out if steam towards the end of Day Three as buyers fill their orders, Mr Bishop said he doubted that would happen this year – based on the size of yesterday’s buyer gallery alone.

Yesterday’s first-day sale saw ‘huge’ support from the Central Queensland grassfed bullock producing region, with very strong support also from North and Northwest Queensland. Equally significant was the strength of the buyer showing from the Northern Territory and Kimberley regions, which have been noticeably quiet in recent years.

Volume buyers struggling to compete

Bos Indicus seedstock marketing specialist Kent Ward, from KB Marketing, said yesterday was easily the strongest Brahman Week sale day he had seen in more than 25 years attending the event.

“Buyers came from everywhere,” he said.

“At this early stage, buyers are not yet putting big runs of bulls together, but that’s partly because of the sheer strength of the market. That might happen on days two or three, but price will play a part.”

“With the amount of money that’s around, it’s proving hard for the volume buyers to operate at this stage,” Mr Ward said.

“The crowd in attendance was unbelievable – easily the largest I have seen at the event – it was standing room only around the Gracemere stadium.”

While yesterday’s top money of $80,000 was paid for a natural poll, it was too early to call a distinct preference for polled bulls, although there was clear evidence of greater use of the Polled Gene DNA test in catalogue listings.

The $80,000 top price on day-one was bought by Kelvin and Margaret Maloney, Kenilworth Stud, Mt Coolon, from Peter and Joy Newman’s Rathlyn Stud, Emerald. Second top money was $65,000 paid for a Grey horned bull from veteran Brahman breeders, John and Dawn Kirk, Carinya. The Kirks offered and sold 25 Grey Brahman bulls yesterday that averaged almost $22,000.

“There’s no reason to suspect that today’s offering will be a lot different than yesterday’s,” Mr Ward said.

“I think it will be business as usual.”

Yesterday’s catalogue was all Grey bulls, while today’s offering of 319 bulls  is a mixture of Reds and Greys. The entire sale this year offers a total 890 bulls, making it still the world’s largest bull sale.


auctionsplus full logoAuctionsPlus remote bidding, including live streaming, is available to remote buyers at Brahman Week, and there was considerable remote bidding evident in yesterday’s offering. Click here to access live streaming facility covering the sale.  If you are not already registered as an AuctionsPlus user, and are not interested in bidding but simply wish to view the live stream, click on the blue button, lower right on that page,  marked “Proceed as guest only” to view the live stream.


  • Given the extraordinary events unfolding in Rocky, Beef Central will provide an update of today’s day-two selling in tonight’s weekly Genetics Central news alert to subscribers, accessible here, and a full sale wrap-up on Thursday.




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