Ballarat steer sale: ‘take no prisoners’ bidding in record sale

Peter Kostos, 24/02/2020

A “take no prisoners” bidding attitude described the intense competition that ensued at Ballarat on Friday, where agents offered a very high quality yarding of 5200 steers.

One Ballarat agent described the offering “as the best of anywhere in Australia for quality, breeding and condition”.

Competition was fierce, creating prices never seen before.

Video: Elders Ballarat manager Graeme Nicholson describes the extreme competition at the Ballarat steer sale, where 5000 top quality steers averaged over $1550 per head.

Due to the very good season in southern Victoria, the first few pens were grown steers of bullock weights.

These sold to $2320, equaling 322c/kg liveweight, with one bullock making $3000.

One agent bought most of the heavy steers over 520kg.

Gary O’Connor is a face known to many across Australia. As a past principal of G&K O’Connor, Pakenham, Gary has bought thousand of cattle.
Gary said of the Ballarat steer sale, Friday, that it was the best he has ever seen.

From that point on, well into the sale, over half of the yarding was purchased by feedlots for grain finishing.

These went as far north as Southern Queensland, and New South Wales, with southern feedlots well in the mix also.

The total yarding of steers, which included numerous pens of young steers, 220kg and over, averaged $1586 per head.

Adam and Charlene Gittus, and son, Mark, Alpha Pastoral Company, Stonewall,
sold 45 Angus steer weaners, Francs and Barwidgee blood, from $1600-$1710 at Ballarat, Friday.

Calculators were out as the continuing climb in prices saw the crowd looking to see the equivalent liveweight prices.

Over 90 per cent of the yarding sold between 420c and 470c/kg lwt.

Once the steers dropped to a weight below feedlot requirements, producers stepped up with many purchased to background for future grain feeding.

One of the larger vendors was Eastern Hill, who sold 25 grown Angus steers to $2320, and 181 weaned steers from $1200 to $1840,

Elders Ballarat’s Graeme Nicholson sells a pen of Injemira blood Poll Hereford steers for $1770, Friday, on a very cool February day of just 15 degrees.

What stood out was that auctioneers were not sure what to ask to start a pen – even as they adjusted to the strong bidding, the asking price was accepted by the buyers first off.

Younger steers sold very well. Fraser Partners, Bopeep, sold 103 Angus steers, 270 to 365kg, from $1280 to $1590.

Underpinning the prices of younger Angus steers, was an order for live export steers, 280kg to 320kg.

Prices for these exceeded very recent prices by as much as 70c/kg lwt.

Most of the 574 head purchased for this cause were from $1200 to $1460.


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  1. Maxine elkins, 26/02/2020

    Well pleased to see price s are on the up & up, please keep me informed thk you

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