AN incredible new benchmark has been set for the Australian seedstock industry, when last night’s Elite Wagyu Sale held as part of the industry’s 2022 Wagyu Edge Conference in Melbourne lit up with a series of blistering new records.
Heifers sold to an incredible $400,000, setting a new all-breeds record for any seedstock animal. The figure easily eclipsed the previous bull record held by a Brahman of $325,000, and the registered female record of $280,000 set by a Wagyu heifer (see Beef Central’s comprehensive list of record prices for bulls and females).
The depth of relentless bidding support last night from across Australia, plus North America, Europe and Asia saw 16 registered females average an incredible $67,406. Ten bulls offered and sold averaged $72,950 – another all-breeds record – hitting a new breed record high of $240,000. Eighty four individual embryos averaged $2632, while semen straws averaged $3178 each.
The sale can easily lay claim to being the strongest result ever seen in the beef seedstock industry, worldwide. Morew than 100 bidders were logged-on from across the globe, together with 300 live in the conference room last night.
Opening the sale and setting the new $400,000 all-breeds record was a 13-month-old unjoined female from Peter and Sandra Krause and family’s Sunnyside Wagyu, Inverell. With all four $Indexes in the top one percent for the breed, and the highest marbling EBV in the catalogue at +3, the heifer drew bidding interest from all over the globe. The eventual buyer was Yulong Investments from Nagambie VIC, which was also a prominent buyer at the recent Mayura Wagyu genetics sale.
The top price bull, Sahara Park Yasufuku R153, a 16 month old son of high marbling performer World K Yasufuku Jr, offered by Dean and Sam Pollard of Sahara Park, Rockhampton QLD, was purchased by Que Hornery from Bar H Grazing, Moranbah. Mr Hornery said the bull, with a marbling EBV of +2.1 and an F1 Index of $175, would be the star in taking his business to another level.
Next best among the bulls at $220,000 was an unusual ‘pick one of three’ offering from prominent Victorian Wagyu breeder David Blackmore all carrying rare combinations of elite Wagyu genetics.
The buyer was Hewitt Pastoral Enterprises, which has been an active participant in securing elite Wagyu genetics this year.
Post-auction approaches could see deals done in coming days on the remaining two bulls from the offering, Mr Blackmore told Beef Central.
Australian Wagyu Association president Charlie Perry said it was incredible to see the optimism being expressed by bidders and buyers throughout last night’s sale.
“It was a coming-of-age for this particular sale, which features only animals within the top five percent of Wagyu EBVs. Every single lot offered was of extremely high quality, and buyers clearly recognised that.”
Mr Perry said the result was a testament to the confidence evident across the entire Australian beef industry at present, and the Wagyu sector in particular.
“Buyers are recognising the contribution of the genetic tools that are now contributing to increasing the accuracy of animal performance figures. All entries were very proven animals, at least one generation back in their pedigrees.”
Value in elite females
Mr Perry agreed that the sale also flagged the value that the industry now placed in high performing females. For the first time in history, a female stands as the highest priced animal ever in the Australian seedstock industry.
“What’s changing that is the contribution not only of embryo transfer work, but IVF,” he said.
“Suddenly, these elite females contain a whole lot more value than what they once did.”
A similar trend was seen in the sale’s semen offering, selling to $37,500 for three straws of Macquarie Wagyu’s Coates Itoshigenami G113, and grossing almost $500,000 for 156 straws.
“With IVF technology, one straw of semen can now yield 40 calves, instead of one or two in the past. Each straw has greater inherent value.”
“Underpinning all this is the current state of the cattle market, and the continued strong seasonal prospects in many parts of Australia. It’s a great time to be in beef,” Mr Perry said.
The current mood for securing elite quality Wagyu genetics was clearly set earlier this month at the annual Mayura Wagyu genetics sale, where principal Scott de Bruin sold a collection of 45 lots covering 22 heifers, 13 bulls, nine semen straw lots and a single offering of four embryos averaged $55,011/lot – an all-time record for any single-vendor seedstock sale of any breed in Australia, and potentially, the world.
“To have the best genetics on offer from 39 leading Wagyu breeders from around the world, in one place at one time last night, created an astounding event and spectacle,” AWA chief executive Matt McDonagh said.
“The AWA Elite Wagyu Sale has become the hallmark Wagyu genetics event for the global Wagyu sector. The result consolidates Wagyu’s position in the global beef industry at the cutting edge of progress.”
Agents for the simultaneous live and online sale were Grant Daniel & Long and Elders.
- Females: Top $400,000 – Sunnyside S0014 purchased by Yulong Investment; Average $67,000
- Bulls: Top $240,000 – Sahara Park Yasufuku R153 purchased by Bar H Grazing; Average: $72,000
- Embryos: Top $6000 per embryo – IMUFP0101 x WSIFH144Z purchased by Mayura Station; Average: $2620/ embryo
- Semen: Top $37,500 per straw – Lot 55 Coates Itoshigenami G113 purchased by Mayura Station; Average: $5000.