REGISTERED females sold to $105,000 and bulls to $47,500 in the 2020 Elite Wagyu Sale held online last week, which attracted buyers from across Australia, plus the United States, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
In total, 63 of 96 lots were sold, comprising live bulls and females, embryos and embryo flushes, and semen straws.
Records were achieved for Wagyu embryos, selling to $23,000 for a single embryo offered by Canadian vendor, Wagyu Sekai, and brought by Mayura Wagyu, South Australia. In total, 16 of 25 embryo packages offered were sold, averaging $2733 per embryo.
The sale proved to be a truly international event, with 146 bidders registered from 11 countries across the world. In fact 20 lots ended up selling to interests outside of Australia, including eight lots to Swiss buyers, seven to the United States and five to the United Kingdom.
While some distance from the lofty heights achieved at the same sale a year earlier, when females sold to $280,000 and $200,000 record highs, females again attracted strong interest, with 10 of the 20 lots sold going to international bidders in the US and Switzerland.
This year’s $105,000 top price again reflected the value being placed in elite Wagyu female genetics for embryo transfer work. In total, the 20/25 females sold for an average of $35,850.
Top price honours went to a 20-month old daughter of Sumo Cattle Co Michifuku F154, offered by Simon Coates’ Sumo Cattle Co, Queensland. The heifer, Sumo Cattle Co Fuku P526 is an ET daughter of SCC Michifuku F154, who has produced 21 analysed carcases averaging a marbling score of 8.6, and carcase weight of 462kg, ranking him in the top 1pc of the Wagyu breed across all three indices.
Carrying a strong influence of renowned sire TF Itoshigenami in her breeding, the top-priced heifer went to a US buyer, Jeremy Freer of Double 8 Cattle Co.
Two polled purebred Wagyu females sold to a buyer in Switzerland for $65,000 and $62,500.
Bulls provide a little harder to sell, with eight of the 24 offered meeting their reserve, averaging $22,125. Negotiations continue on a few lots, and marketing agent Harvey Weyman-Jones from GDL remains confident of securing deals.
Top bull price of $47,500 was paid for LT Cooper Cattle Trust’s Circle8Bulls Q122, an ET son by the same sire as the top priced female, Sumo Cattle Co Michifuku F154, bought by an Australian syndicate including Koolang Wagyu. He was in the breed’s top 1pc for all BreedObject indices.
Among other genetic material offered in the sale, semen straws saw 16 of 19 lots sell (totalling 310 straws), averaging $384/straw. Top semen price was $4300 paid for ten straws of Mayura P1040 offered by Mayura Wagyu, Millicent, SA.
Three embryo flushes were offered and sold, averaging $12,000 per flush (minimum guarantee of four embryos), from a pregnancy to Itozurudoi TF 151.
The Elite Wagyu sale is normally held as part of the Australian Wagyu Association’s annual conference, but was an online-only event this year due to COVID-19 travel and people gathering limitations. The sale was the first to focus exclusively on animals representing the top 5pc of Wagyu EBVs across the world, as registered by the Australian Wagyu Association.
GDL lead auctioneer, Harvey Weyman-Jones, said the Elite Wagyu Sale was a global sale in every way, where the volume buyer of the day was Swiss-based Marcel Merz, securing seven females and a bull, to complement the genetics purchased in the Mayura Sale a month ago.
“Conducting the Elite Wagyu Sale is a major event for the Association to support the industry and our members,” said AWA CEO, Matt McDonagh.
“A big thank you goes out to all the vendors and bidders from around the world who supported the sale this year,” he said.
The strong result is a clear statement regarding the strength of the global Wagyu sector and the confidence in elite genetics across the world that are benchmarked through AWA Wagyu BreedPlan.”