Markets

Katherine cattle sale meets tough market

James Nason, 26/06/2012

One of the largest cattle sales to be held in Katherine for many years encountered a tough market last Friday, a further sign of the difficult economic conditions gripping the northern cattle industry.

The Tipperary Group offered about 4500 Brahman cattle in one yarding, comprising PTIC cows and heifers, empty cows, slaughter and herd bulls as well as younger steers and heifers.

The group owns an aggregation of four properties in the Douglas Daly region 180km south of Darwin. Manager David Warriner said that with the four properties on the market, the company’s owners decided to conduct the one-off sale in Katherine as part of ongoing moves to sell the cattle herd down.

“We were handling them at the time, and it was just decided that we would sell the bulk of our cattle for the year in one hit,” Mr Warriner said.

The overall sale averaged $400 a head. Lighter weaner cattle sold well to achieve around $2/kg, however good lines of pregnant cows were only able to fetch around $500 per head.

“That was pretty disappointing because the cattle presented well,” Mr Warriner said.

“It was just reflective of the environment we’re in up here.”

All of the 4500 cattle yarded sold, with Consolidated Pastoral Company being the major buyer.

Meanwhile a major property sale in the Northern Territory on the same day as last week’s sale attracted a good crowd but failed to generate a bid at auction.

Reg and Jan Underwood offered their 178,800 hectare Victoria River District cattle property Bunda Station in Darwin last Friday. Post-auction negotiations with potential buyers are underway with agent Sue Brosnan from Elders in Katherine.  

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