Buyers show no fear at annual Mortlake spring sale

Guest Author, 26/10/2020


EYCI: 799.25c/kg


STEERS: 500KG+ $2088-$2246, av 420c/kg; 360-500KG $1655-$2176 av 445c/kg; 280-360KG: $1520-$1722, AV 492c/kg.

HEIFERS: 360-500kg: $1555-$1860, av 416c/kg; 280-360KG; $1400-$1645, av 469c/kg.


WITH the cattle market nudging a record 800 cents a kilogram Eastern Young Cattle indicator, buyers participating at Thursday’s Elders-Kerr & Co annual spring sale displayed no fear stumping up a sale average of 448c/kg or $1810 a head across its 2600 head penning.

Buying supporting for the under-cover, soft-floored WVLX Mortlake-held sale were mustered from all points and represented every section of the industry competing both at the rail and online.

Leading the charge was the normal lot feeder inquiry from Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia.

They competed with bullock finishers and back grounders from Gippsland, local western areas along with orders representing a small parcel of interest from northeast Victoria and NSW.

AJ & AK Boyd (Greenhills) had a fantastic run of Murray grey cattle cattle on offer, averageing 440c/kg or $2114.07 per head.

Breeder restockers also displayed an intense interest on purchasing well-breed young heifers and in-calf females for the purpose of herd building and replacements.

A keen long-term observer and regular buyer at this annual fixture said the quality of this year’s yarding was the most outstanding he has ever seen.

Bruce Redpath, Elders said the weight-for-age of the yarding was exceptional and 20 to 30kg heavier than this sale 12 months ago.

The season in the western parts of Victoria from where the cattle were sourced he said had been much kinder than in recent years with an early break to the autumn and mild winter and early spring being beneficial to the cattle’s well-being.

But the money paid he said was also higher than has been seen in recent sales: “it truly was a magnificent result from a normal gathering of buyers”.

“Änd, I’m happy to be quoted on that”, Mr Redpath told Beef Central.

Koolomurt Pastoral wAS awarded the award for “Best Presented Pen Of Heifers”. The well bred Hereford Heifers made to 420c/kg or $1859.16

Kerr & Co’s Zac Van Wegan said the enthusiasm that propelled the sale made it a good day to be on the rail rather than being in the gallery.

“It’s a sign of the times we’re in at the moment” Mr Van Wegen said.

“(The sale) defied expectations even in the climate of the current market. It was a good sale to be at and a good sale to witness.”

Mr Van Wegan said that the number of sales to exceed $2000 a head was astonishing.

The first 15 or so pens of 15 to 18 month-old steers he said all returned values that exceed $2150 ahead, even some of the lead drafts of 12-14 month-old steers made this money, with plenty in of this age sold for $2000 a head or more.

He said a full gallery of feedlot buyers were in the thick of this action and waged strong competition with high-end bullock finishers from Gippsland and the Otway area near Colac.

However, he said the usual 10-20c/kg premium for EU-accredited lines was not as evident for the numbers that were offered in sale.

Nonetheless those that were retained to the EU-system sold especially well, notably the Boyd family’s Minhamite line of GreenHills Murray Grey steers, 420 and 462kg that made 440 and 434c/kg respectively.

A line of the Gubbins family’s Coolana steers, 460kg, also sold especially well at 470c/kg as an EU-accredited line of 70.

The Coolana steers were also judged as the sale’s best presented yard and were awarded at David Powling Memorial Shield.

Other steer sales of note included vendors:

– Murroa East: 138 Angus (EU) 330-544kg, to $2226, avg $1826,

– Toora West: 28 Angus, 503kg, $2193,

– McRae Trading: 90 Hereford 453-550kg to $2161, avg $2023,

– Hutton Partnership: 120 Hereford 420-513kg, to $2144, avg $2029,

–  Weerangourt: 121 Angus (EU) 317-491kg to $2126, avg $1723.

– Kilkenny: 50 Angus 408-465kg, to $2083, avg $1981,

– Pardoo: 168 Angus 302-430kg, to $1925, avg $1789,

– Vinebanks: 51 Hereford 341-405kg to $1826, avg $1654,

– Barwidgee: 34 Angus (EU) 398kg $1789,

– Garrangreena: 70 Angus 284-380kg, to $1744, avg $1684.

The market for unjoined heifers was equally impressive and in the 12-14-month-old section averaged one cent a kilogram more than their steer brothers.

The 600 heifers penned across the sale averaged 366kg, $1610c/kg and 440c/kg as several major restocker interests vied especially for the better-bred lines.

These included the sale of 35 Kilkenny Angus (12-13 months), 345kg, that made 479c/kg, 52 Garrangreena Angus, 318 and 351kg, sold at 468c/kg and 55 Kerrsville Angus, 360kg sold at 490c/kg.

Several sales of younger and lighter heifers – sub 320kg – were pushed to rates near and beyond 500c/kg.

These included a pen of 16 Garrangreena Angus, 284kg, sold at 556c/kg, Tathra Trading sold 41 Angus 244kg at 564c/kg while vendor Pardoo sold 27 Angus, 302kg at 516c/kg.

To complete the sale a draft of 77 first- and second-calf Angus heifers, 468 to 572kg, PTIC to Stony Point Angus bulls all sold around the $4/kg mark making $1740 to $2300 while 35 Herford heifers 429-484kg, same age with the same joining, commanded a similar per kilogram rate making $1720 and $1960.

These were offered by vendor Stony Point.


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 -