Cattle saleyard throughput state-by-state 2018-19

Meat & Livestock Australia, 16/12/2019

Meat & Livestock Australia has released the results from its annual saleyard survey, which identifies the total number of cattle and sheep consigned to Australia’s saleyards each financial year. Click here to read the full cattle saleyard survey reportwith summarised results for each State below:

New South Wales

Cattle saleyard throughput totalled nearly 1.66 million head, a decrease of 5.8% year-on-year, the highest of all states recorded in the 2018–19 survey. Generally, cattle numbers decreased at inland saleyards, with parts of Northern NSW and coastal areas posting increases.

Like previous years, the saleyard with the highest throughput for NSW was Dubbo, recording 193,788 head. Wagga Wagga yarded 172,734 head, followed by CTLX Carcoar with 139,249 head.

There was decreased throughput at TRLX Tamworth, totalling 119,408 consignments. Gunnedah yarded 118,118 head of cattle, also decreasing in volume year-on-year.

Numbers at Inverell substantially improved on the previous year to 108,941 head. Casino also lifted total throughput during the year, recording 99,887 consignments, up 8.6% year-on-year. Yass reached a total throughput of 76,827 head, a decrease of 1.1%. Forbes cattle numbers decreased, yarding 65,974 head. Armidale was one of the few saleyards to increase throughput, total yardings up by nearly 25%, recording 61,116 head.


MLA’s 2018-19 saleyard survey showed 1.3 million cattle consigned across Queensland, increasing 4.4% year-on-year. The tough seasonal conditions in NSW saw cattle numbers increase for most saleyards that sit adjacent to the Queensland-NSW border.

Those saleyards closer to Brisbane generally recorded more cattle compared to the previous year, while saleyards furthest west stable in throughput. Saleyards situated in the Queensland Murray Darling Basin, Fitzroy Basin, Western Downs and Goondiwindi regions posted the greatest increases.

Roma remained the largest cattle selling centre for the country, with a similar throughput to the previous year at 319,053 head. Dalby followed with 258,293 consignments and Gracemere yarded 126,000 head. Emerald closely followed with 92,477 cattle yarded while Warwick recorded a total consignment of 70,052 head – up 15.8%.

Numbers eased slightly from the previous year for Charters Towers, as they totalled 61,173 head. Blackall experienced a significant decline to their total cattle throughput, recording 44,023 consignments.

Numbers at Biggenden increased to 42,143 head, along with Gympie, posting a total throughput of 42,024 head. Toowoomba eased 11.1% to yard 38,819 head for the 2018-19 financial year.


1.04 million cattle were consigned to Victorian saleyards in 2018–19, an increase of 12.5% year-on-year. Generally, saleyards located in southern parts of the state and surrounding Melbourne saw increased cattle numbers, with those located furthest from Melbourne recording decreases.

Once again, NVLX Wodonga recorded the highest cattle throughput for the state with 175,993 head yarded over the course of the year.

As with the previous year, Leongatha had the next biggest yardings, this time consigning 138,846 cattle. Pakenham numbers increased considerably to 117,944 head, while Shepparton followed closely with 106,342 head. Warrnambool secured 71,746 head, increasing their total throughput year-on-year.

Numbers at Mortlake more than doubled compared to the previous year, to 61,121 head. Ballarat followed with 56,586 head yarded, up 38.7%.

Bairnsdale experienced a considerable decline of 36.9%, yarding 44,182 head. Echuca yarded 37,370 head, up on the previous year. Camperdown had 33,861 consignments, just above the numbers received during 2017–18.

South Australia

Total cattle throughput for SA saleyards increased from 224,340 head in 2017–18 to 238,242 head, an increase of 6.2%.

In the 2018–19 survey, the selling centre with the highest yardings was Naracoorte, with a throughput of 83,596 head. This was closely followed by Mount Gambier and then Mount Compass, at 80,521 and 52,000 head, respectively.

Dublin’s total number of consignments was 22,125 head. It was evident that saleyards nearing the state’s capital were showing the largest decreases, while those nearing the South Australia-Victorian border saw higher volumes.

Western Australia

WA cattle throughput remained similar year-on-year, totalling 261,225 head in 2018-19. This year, Boyanup had the highest number of consignments, followed by Muchea, yarding 95,590 and 93,617 head, respectively. Mount Barker yarded 69,551 head and Manjimup yarded 2,467 head.


The 2018–19 MLA survey revealed that that Powranna and Killafaddy had the largest number of cattle consignments, with a total 47,100 head recorded across all sale formats. Following that was the saleyard at Quoiba, reaching 13,240 head.

Source: Meat & Livestock Australia Limited. This was first published on the MLA website, click here to view original article showing cattle and sheep throughput data for 2018-19. 



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  1. Sandra Steffensen, 17/12/2019

    Hi. we live in the South Burnett and have 2 saleyard complexes in our area selling cattle. Coolabunia (near Kingaroy) and Murgon. Both centres are not listed in the numbers quoted in your report. I would be interested in why they are not included. Thanks Sandra Steffensen

    Thanks for your comment, Sandra. Here is MLA’s response:

    This is a voluntary survey of saleyard throughput figures by state, conducted at the end of every financial year by the National Livestock Reporting Service with the support of the Australian Livestock Markets Association. While we seek to gather and present as much data as possible, the survey is voluntary, and we rely on the participation of individual saleyards. In this case, both these saleyards have not responded to the survey the last three years and therefore their data is not included.


  2. Howard Gardner, 16/12/2019

    It would also be of interest if you published total figures marketed via the Auctions Plus electronic auction system.

    Nice to hear from you, Howard. For younger readers’ benefit, Howard is a former chairman of Computer Aided Livestock Marketing (CALM), the predecessor to AuctionsPlus.
    AuctionsPlus turnover for 2018-19 year was 373,493 cattle – virtually unchanged from the year before. Sheep turnover was 3.071 million head, up 5pc. Editor

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