CATTLE listing numbers were slightly down this week, but would have been considerably lower except for some very large consignments of live export cattle out of the Northern Territory.
A total catalogue of 11,470 head included almost 1600 head from a single NT vendor, targeting the live export market with big runs from the region’s first round musters.
Heytesbury Pastoral Co tested the market with five lines of mostly Grey Brahman feeder steers and heifers from Moolooloo, an outstation of Victoria River Downs in the territory’s VRD district.
There’s been a few signs of a small kick in the northern live export mark just recently, and the Heytesbury cattle provided some guidance over where the market is heading. Just last Thursday, one agency order chasing six decks of high-quality Brahman steers 240-280kg, was offering $345c delivered Noonamah. The figure was up on a current 320-325c/kg market, delivered Darwin.
The Heytesbury listings on AuctionsPlus on Friday included 1236 steers, including one big run of 720, and 360 heifers. All showed the benefit of the fantastic 2016-17 wet season across the north.
The younger lines of steers 18-32 months averaging 322kg (range: 300-380kg) sold from 315c/kg ($1013/head) to 318c ($1023/head). An older line 18-36 months 398kg average liveweight (range 380-500kg), sold for 292.5c/kg or $1164/head.
Note that these prices were on-property – not delivered Darwin as most live export business is conducted. Freight from Moolooloo to Darwin was estimated at 11-12c/kg, which would have equated to a delivered Darwin price of between 326c and 330c. That price inevitably reflected the quality and good performance reputation of the Heytesbury cattle in the livex marketplace,Elders Katherine’s Paul McCormick told Beef Central.
“The brand has carried them over the line,” he said.
Weights were offered on-truck at Kalala yards, or Katherine, just as direct-consignment cattle would be sold.
Heytesbury’s two heifer lines from Pigeon Hole, another VRD outstation, averaging 307kg, failed to sell on Friday, being passed in for $901 a head, or 293.4c. The fact that business is so slow in Indo at present perhaps worked against the heifers’ sale prospects, with low shipping volumes allowing buyers to select in favour of steers, for performance reasons. Heifers in general were a little tougher to sell that steers into the boat trade at present, Mr McCormick said.
He said he was still confident of getting the heifers away – if not before the next AuctionsPlus sale on Friday, then privately. The fact that they were spayed heifers may also have been a factor, as it eliminated them from supply into the Indo breeder protocol that for the past 12 months or so has taken entire heifers for breeding.
“We’re certainly encouraging some territory clients to put away the spaying knife, for that reason. But it certainly does not suit all management systems in the north. It just doesn’t work,” Mr McCormick said.
In addition to live exporter interest, there was local NT restocker bidding activity on all the Heytesbury lots offered on Friday, barring the heavy steers.
“The restocker activity up here currently is strong,” Mr McCormick said. “That’s because of the wet season that we’ve just experienced, and some of the varying methods of agistment used in the Territory, where some deals are done per head, and others per paddock. If an agistor has taken a position on a paddock, or a property, some of them might need to fill up, given the season that’s been experienced.”
Because of the good season, there had also been a lack of good weaners come onto the market in the far north this year, as breeders in a lot of cases will have the feed to do a job on those young cattle themselves.
“That’s limited supply of good weaners and grower cattle in the territory, and we probably have eight or ten people all actively chasing young cattle at present – but they do want them in that sweet spot around 250-260kg average,” he said. “Hence the prices on offer last week. That weight will allow them to carry those cattle through towards the next wet season, and add maybe 100kg to them.”
“But we have not flushed any out yet, despite the price,” Mr McCormick said.
Heytesbury pushed a big mob of Birrindudus’ through AuctionsPlus towards the end of last year, which also sold very well.
Online cattle listings from all states
Cattle listings on AuctionsPlus last week came from every state and territory.
A stand-out line of Angus cows and calves from Hamilton, VIC made top dollar on Friday. The 2-3 year-old cows, 447kg at assessment, not yet rejoined but with sappy 90kg calves at foot, made a huge $2630. The vendor, Kaladbro Pastoral was a first-time AuctionsPlus user.
Another top line of NSM cows and calves from Keith, SA made $2500. This line of 2-3-year-old females had 1-3-month-old calves at foot sired by Murray Grey bulls.
PTIC cows this week ranged from near and far, with the top line making $2325, for a line of rising 4-year-old Angus from western Victoria, heading across the border into South Australia to spend the winter. The cows were PTIC to Angus bulls with Welcome Swallow Angus genetics behind them which will continue to develop into proven breeders.
PTIC heifers were also in high supply this week with the top price lot hailing from Toobeah, QLD, making $2520. These rising 2-year-old Angus heifers were sold PTIC to Clunie Range Angus bulls. Another top line of PTIC heifers from Goondiwindi, QLD were 21-22-month old girls PTIC to Lawson Angus Bulls making $2500.
- Steers less than 250kg sold from 390c to 440c, to average 471c/kg, (down 12c); while heifers sold from 326-476c, averaging 389c (down 18c)
- Steers 250-300kg sold from 345-458c, to average 408c (up 3c); while heifers sold from 293-494c, to average 373c, (up 26c)
- Steers 300-350kg sold from 315-444c, to average 371c (up 17c); while heifers sold from 334-492c, to average 368c (up 25c)
- Steers 350-400kg sold from 269-377c, to average 337c; while heifers sold from 321-349c, to average of 336c
- Steers 400-450kg sold from 304-332c to average 319c; while heifers made 313c or $1320
Queensland – steers:
- 5-7-month old 224kg Simmental/Brafords, Guluguba – 436.5c, or $980
- 6-11-month old 218kg Simmental/Brahman cross, Blackall – 422.6c, or $923
- 4-8-month old 229kg Brangus, Proston – 415.7c, or $955
- 6-10-month old 263.6kg Charolais/Droughtmasters, Durong – 398.3c or $1050
Queensland – heifers:
- 5-7-month old 234kg, Simmental/Braford, Guluguba – 349.1c, or $840
- 6-11-month old 201kg Simmental/Brahman cross, Blackall – 352.4c, or $707
- 17-23-month old 351kg, Brahmans, Comet – 341.3c, or $1200
- 15-18-month old 373kg, Angus/Angus, Greymare – 332.7c, or $1242
New South Wales – steers:
- 7-9-month-old 247kg Angus, Walcha – 439.8c, or $1085
- 7-9-month old 251kg Angus, Khancoban – 438.2c, or $1100
- 10-11-month old 266kg, Angus/Angus, Molong – 434.7c or $1155
- 7-9-month old 281kg Angus Ilford – 432.2c, or $1215
New South Wales – Heifers
- 9-10-month old 365kg Angus from Glen Avon, Guyra – 494.8c or $1310
- 6-8-month old 159kg Red Poll, Kookabookra – 411.4c, or $655
- 15-19-month old 346.4kg Angus, Adaminaby – 383.9c, or $1330
- 6-10-month old, 225kg Angus, Burren Junction – 376.9c, or $850
Victoria – steers:
- 7-9-month old, 258kg, Angus, Narrawong – 457.7c, or $1180
- 7-9-month old, 293kg, Angus/Angus, Narrawong – 450.3c, or $1320
- 8-10-month old 267kg, Angus/Angus, Willaura – 448.7c, or $1200
- 7-9-month old 301kg Angus, Tyrendarra – 443.5c, or $1335
Victoria – heifers:
- 9-10-month old 219kg Angus, Casterton – 476c, or $1045; same vendor 264kg, 435.7c, or $1150
- Angus/Shorthorn heifers 12-14 months 327kg, Bray, SA – 385.2c, or $1260
- Droughtmaster cross heifers 10-14 months 256kg, Lucindale, SA – 337.7c, or $865
- Simmental/Angus steers 11-12 months 393kg, Manjimup – 343c, or $1350
- Angus/Friesian steers 13-14 months 362kg, Greenbushes– 284c, or $1030
Tasmanian Cattle Sale:
- Angus steers 6-8 months 267kg, Castra – 438c, or $1170
- Angus steers 7-8 months 295kg, Lady Barron, TAS – 397c, or $1170
- Poll Hereford steers 8-9 months 366kg, Riana, TAS – 377c, or $1380
- Hereford/Angus heifers 8-9 months 340.6kg, Riana, TAS – 337.6c, or $1150.
Interfaced seedstock sale highlights:
The Rosedale Charolais bull sale was interfaced online via AuctionsPlus this week. The top-priced bull, purchased online, made $16,000 with bulls averaging $7660. There were also 15 Charolais/Angus Cross/Composite bulls that had a top of $9000 to average $7660. The Charolais/Angus Cross/Shorthorn bulls had a top of $12,000 with an average of $7250. AuctionsPlus had 43 online registered bidders with 11 bulls being purchased online heading to three states.
Minnamurra Pastoral Co Speckle Park Bull Sale was interfaced online via AuctionsPlus with 54 bulls offered and 50 commercial females. AuctionsPlus online bidders purchased 22 lots. The top priced bull sold for $35,000, with the top online purchase making $14,000. Females sold to $2000. AuctionsPlus had 97 online bidders logged-in, with a total 253 online bids.
Source: Some content supplied by AuctionsPlus