Weekly genetics review: Prices holding up well in autumn bull sales

Guest Author, 27/03/2018

Highest bull price so far in 2018 has been $52,500 paid for Woonallee Messiah M170, the new Australian Black Simmental record priced bull, pictured in the ring at Woonalee’s recent sale near Mt Gambier.


DESPITE the year-on-year decline in slaughter cattle prices and softer trend in this year’s Autumn weaner sales, Autumn 2018 bull sales held so far in southern Australia have held up remarkably well.

This time a year ago, the Eastern Young Cattle Indicator hovered around 640c/kg carcase weight, whereas it has settled at around 545c/kg this week, representing a 15 percent decline. A similar correction has been seen in average bull prices over the past couple of months.

The results for 115 Autumn bull sales recorded this year by Beef Central have shown a small decline in average prices so far, compared to the stellar Autumn bull sales in 2017. But importantly, bull prices are still strong compared with the previous ten years.


The average price for 3543 Angus bulls sold in 63 sales so far during Autumn 2018 of $6981 is down by just 5pc on the same period last year (average 2017 price of $7366 for 2761 bulls in 53 sales sold over a similar period).

Leading the average prices for the Angus breed were two West Australian herds. Koojan Hills, now owned by the Metcalfe family at Manypeaks averaged $10,208 for 65 bulls and Coonamble stud at Bremer Bay averaged $10,100 for 80 bulls, with a complete clearance for the Davis family.

Top prices for Angus did not hit the heady heights of autumn last year, but there were still some impressive tops. Landfall Angus near Launceston, Tas achieved the highest price of $37,000 in a very strong sale completed this week, where 140 of 155 bulls were sold for an average of $7414. This compares with an average of $8884 for 142 bulls in 2017.

The recent Banquet Angus at Mortlake, Vic, sold to a top of $32,000 with an average of $9219 for 82 bulls, which compares with an average of $9224 for 89 bulls in 2017. Rennylea Angus at Culcairn, NSW averaged $9012 with a top of $21,000 for a complete clearance of 82 bulls, to increase their average by $863 for 88 bulls sold in Autumn last year.

The Te Mania stud topped at $32,000 in a complete clearance of 156 bulls for an average of $8755 which compares with last year’s average of $9289 for the same number of bulls.

Pathfinder Angus based at Penshurst, Vic held two sales over the Autumn selling period, selling 120 bulls for an average of $8608 at Naracoorte, SA and 98 bulls for an average of $8530 at their home property in Victoria.

Lawsons Angus held three sales over the Autumn selling season. The first at their Hopetoun property near Esperance, WA sold 93 bulls for a top f $31,500 and $7580 average; the second sale at Cataby north of Perth, WA sold 55 bulls averaging $6230; and the third sale at Yea, Vic sold 149 bulls averaging $7010 in a complete clearance.


The Hereford breed has achieved a slight increase in average price this year, with an average of $6995 for 880 bulls so far in 2018, compared to $6884 for 989 bulls sold for Autumn last year.

The Injemira stud at Book Book, NSW posted the highest top price of $50,000 and the leading sale average for Herefords of $9416 for 94 bulls. Yarram Park Herefords at Willaura, Vic in only their second auction sale had a complete clearance of 62 bulls to a top of $26,000 and an average of $8811 (an increase of $451 on the average price of $8360 for 56 bulls in their first sale).

The Days/Allendale sale at Bordertown, SA had a strong result, averaging $8630 for 73 bulls with a top of $26,000, as did the Wirruna stud at Holbrook which sold 56 bulls for a top of $27,000 and an average of $7143.

Mawarra Herefords, Longford, Vic topped at $20,000 and averaged $7531 for 72 bulls and the largest volume Hereford sale, Yavenvale, Adelong, NSW averaged $6950 and topped at $20,000 for 110 bulls.

Murray Grey

In five sales a total of 140 Murray Grey bulls sold to a top of $18,000 and an average of $6378. This included 26 bulls sold by Lindsay Murray Greys, Coleraine, Vic to a top of $16,000 averaging $7307 and 66 bulls sold by Monterey, WA for an average of $6901 and a top of $18,000.

European breeds

Simmentals led the averages for the European breeds so far this autumn, with an overall average of $7423 for 341 bulls in eight sales across southern Australia.

Again leading the way was the Woonallee Simmental stud, Furner, SA which sold bulls topping at $52,500 and averaging $9287. Not far behind was Bonnydale Simmentals which averaged $8770 and topped at $19,000 for 65 bulls.

The Charolais breed averaged $5878 for 220 bulls sold in 10 sales so far this autumn season. Mount William stud at Willaura, Vic topped the averages at $8202 for 37 bulls and also sold the highest priced bull at $26,000.

Four Limousin sales averaged $6378 for 110 bulls with the Mandayen  stud at Keith, SA selling the top priced bull at $16,000 and having the top average of $6289 for 57 bulls.

Still to come

The Autumn bull selling season is far from over, with a further 17 sales listed in April and 15 sales for May including National Sales for the Hereford, Limousin and Murray Grey breeds all held at the Wodonga, Vic Selling Complex.

In addition there is the Dubbo Poll Hereford Sale in Dubbo on June 4 and the Dubbo National Shorthorn sale on June 12.


Click here to access Beef Central’s list of breed record prices for bulls and females.




Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your comment will not appear until it has been moderated.
Contributions that contravene our Comments Policy will not be published.


Get Beef Central's news headlines emailed to you -