Hot, dry conditions push AuctionsPlus numbers 28pc higher, as records fall for livex steers

Jon Condon, 10/10/2015
Part of a line of 900 Hayfield Station steers sold on Friday for a live export record price of  330.4c/kg on property.

Part of a line of 900 Hayfield Station steers sold on Friday for a live export record price of 330.4c/kg, on-property south of Katherine.


HOT, dry conditions across large parts of Eastern Australia pushed listing numbers 28 percent higher on AuctionsPlus on Friday, forcing the scheduling of three separate sales to cope with the size of the catalogue.

Last week saw well above average temperatures for early October, confirming that El Nino is only intensifying and bringing dry and hot conditions.  This resulted in a massive jump in cattle numbers to 11,277 head, taking the total listings offered in the two online sales held so far in October to 19,992 head.

Some particularly large lines out of the Northern Territory helped add to last week’s momentum.

In Friday’s sale:

  • Steers weighing less than 250kg made 300c to 369c to average 339c, 4c higher than the previous week. Heifers in the same weight category averaged 290c.
  • Steers 250-300kg saw prices remain steady, averaging 320c.
  • Steers 300–350kg made 286-330c to average 306c, also steady on a week earlier. Heifers in the same weight-range made 261-312c to average 280c, a decrease of 16c from the previous Friday.
  • The heaviest heifers over 350kg averaged 285c, down 8c.

Records re-set for livex steers

Adding to the big jump in numbers last week was two large lines of quality Brahman steers and heifers out of the Northern Territory.

Hayfield Station again attracted very strong live export and southern backgrounder competition for a line of 900 two and four-tooth Brahman steers, 24-40 months, 335kg average liveweight (range 300-380kg), which made 330.4c/kg liveweight, when bought by a Darwin live exporter. That valued the steers at $1106 a head, on-property south of Katherine, or just under a million dollars, the lot. Bids came from Western Australia, Queensland and the NT.

Adding 11c/kg freight to Darwin port values the steers, landed, at 341c/kg – easily an all-time record price for Indo boat cattle out of Darwin.

Adding considerable momentum to the result was last week’s confirmation that Indonesia has issued permits for final quarter live imports of 200,000 head. It was no coincidence that the Hayfield cattle were listed by agent, Paul McCormick, Elders Katherine, for the first convenient AuctionsPlus sale post that announcement, clearing earlier uncertainty.

The 900 Hayfield steers were followed immediately after in Friday’s sale by a line of 540 Hayfield ‘hat-brand’ Brahman heifers, 331kg average and ranging from 280-380kg, which also sold to live export – despite strong bidding competition from southern and eastern buyers looking to secure them as breeder replacements. The heifers, 18-36 months, sold for 312c or $1011 a head.

About five weeks ago Hayfield sold the heavier end of some of its 2015 turnoff – 500 Brahman steers averaging about 450kg – via AuctionsPlus for 276c/kg, again to live export buyers. That time the market destination as Vietnam (heavier weight spec than Indonesia), which was in full-swing at the time.

As Beef Central’s report at the time indicated, that was the first time that competitive bidding tension had been seen on AuctionsPlus between live export and southern processing/restocking markets.

“It was a great result for the Hayfield cattle on Friday, but it was supported by the fact that the ‘hat-brand’ steers and heifers have gathered an excellent reputation for performance in Indonesian feedlots,” Elders’ Paul McCormick said. “It certainly adds to buyer confidence, especially when prices are as high as these. It’s easily a record for northern live ex cattle.”


Friday’s other sale highlights:

Other highlights on Friday included a line of 60 257kg Angus yearling steers out of Rocky Creek, NSW which sold for 369c or $900 a head; and a line of 90 Dunoon and Stoney Point blood Angus heifers from Coonalpyn, South Australia weighing 397kg which sold for 291c or $1115 a head.

a line of 60 257kg Angus yearling steers out of Rocky Creek, NSW which sold for 369c or $900 a head

a line of 60 257kg Angus yearling steers out of Rocky Creek, NSW which sold for 369c or $900 a head

In specialist categories, an offering of 13 10-14 month old Fullblood registered Wagyu weaned calves – future breeders weighing 150kg – from Alpha in Central Queensland were sold in two lots, making $3550 and $3525 a head.

PTIC first-calvers topped the joined females prices last week, with a line of Angus heifers scanned to Wagyu bulls making $1510 a head. Older joined cows made an average of $783.

Unjoined Hereford heifers out of Coonamble with their first calves at foot made $1800 while older 3-4 year old station mated Angus cows with Moolabulla calves at foot sold for $1750. Eleven year old Angus cows from Guyra with Angus calves, joined to Angus bulls, made $1300.


Click here to access Friday’s full AuctionsPlus market summary.




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