SUMMARY (with last year’s results in brackets for comparative purposes):
Yarded: 2422 (2263)
EYCI: 1112c/kg (728.25c/kg)
Feeder (EYCI) rating: +41pts (+4.2 points)
Steers: 360-500kg $2410-$2620 av 641c/kg; 280-360kg $2190-$2590, av 731c/kg; 200-300kg $2210-$2240, av 800c/kg (STEERS: 360-500KG $1530-$1910, av 431c/kg; 280-360KG: $1460-$1670, AV 463c/kg)
AS THE two sets of numbers above clearly indicate, the opening to Victoria’s beef weaner selling season has set a blistering pace.
The assessment above is based not against other recent sales but against the beef industry’s own official benchmark – the Eastern Young Cattle Indicator or EYCI as is known for short.
The comparison above is drawn from yesterday’s 2422-strong yarding of predominately black Angus steer weaners penned at Euroa which is recognized at the official opening to the southern beef weaner selling season which will continue until April across Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania before heading north into NSW.
To make this comparison Beef Central has recorded and averaged the price of all calves sold in the weight range of 280 to 360kg live and compare this result against EYCI and then versus the equivalent result last year at Euroa when 2263 head were offered and sold.
In live weight terms the figures show the 2021 Euroa sale saw its 280-360kg weight class of steers average 731c/kg live against 1112c/kg EYCI while the same weight class 12 months ago averaged 463c/kg live against an EYCI of 728.25c/kg.
That’s a massive difference of 141 basis points (at 53%) above the indicator this year compared to 36 points 12 months ago. And as a further point of reference utilizing the same methodology, the next most recent strongest sales (covered by Beef Central) were Ballarat’s November yarding which rated +126 points and Wangaratta’s January 6th sale that rated +124 points.
However, for those who like their comparisons made in dollars per head the Euroa sale of 2021 returned a dollars per head of $2386 for its 280 to 360kg steers compared to a last year average of $1572/head.
And for those more interested in the heavier weights Euroa’s 360kg and above steers this year mostly made $2450 to a market top of $2620 compared to last year’s top sales of $1530 to $1870 a head.
It’s little wonder then that most vendors this year stood back wide-mouthed and starstruck.
“Best day ever”- “remarkable times”- “amazing” and “speechless” were just a few of the utterings made by vendors as lot after lot were sold in sale that had no holes.
Russell Mawson, Nutrien Euroa said that 80 percent of the yarding was weaned and it showed out in the prices.
“There was a price difference between the weaned and non-weaned but few would have noticed because not many were non-weaned, he said.
What was noticeable Mr Mawson said was that the yarding didn’t offer the weight as last year – above 20kg lighter – following a tight start to the autumn and winter that was cold and wet and the grass didn’t grow much.
But on the arrival of spring, he said it rained on the right days the grass grew quickly and weights of the cattle exploded driven by depth and quality of genetics within.
Mr Mawson said: “As one buyer commented, Euroa stands at the top of the genetics ladder and it has shown through in today’s result”.
Elders auctioneer, Joe Allan described the result as exceptional.
He said while there was an exceptional depth of inquiry from northeast and Gippsland bullock finishers, a northern NSW feedlot order and other interstate operators, many locals wanting lighter cattle to buy for less than $2200 when home empty-handed.
“There wasn’t many or any of those models in the penning or sold at that value, Mr Allan said.
Rodwells Euroa, manager, Michael Curtis also described the result as amazing.
While the weight and quality of the yarding was outstanding Mr Curtis said prices were also amazing.
“To think we can say in a post-sale assessment that a large percentage of yarding has been sold between $2350 and $2600 is unthinkable” Mr Curtis said.
“And to think a reasonable number have been purchased at this money by our own local restockers is also amazing” he said.
Watch Beef Central’s full post-sale interview with Michael Curtis:
Topping the sale at a price of $2620 was Wirrani, Creightons Creek.
This pen of 19 Angus, 403kg, aged 8-9 months, by Margni Park Angus bulls, was purchased by AWN Shepparton while Marg King, Balmattum sold, at $2600, a yard of 14 Angus to open the sale weighed at 427kg.
Richard McGeehan and Sue Gall, Balmattum, offered a yard-weaned draft of 70 Angus by Newnham Angus bulls. These were sold to a best of $2560 for a yard of 22, 388kg while second-pen of 32, 359kg made $2520.
J&H Wall and Sons, Lynfield, Caniambo consigned 100 Angus by pure Merridale Angus bulls. EU-accredited, these were sold in yards of 20, 382kg at $2580; 40, 357kg at $2460 and 17, 317kg at $2340.
Hanson Angus of Yea was one of two volume vendors that offered 150 Angus steers each.
Also, EU accredited, the Hanson Merridale-blood weaned calves were sold in yards of 21, 364kg at $2450; 20, 350kg at $2450 21, 319kg at $2390 and 40, 296kg at $2320.
The other vendor to offered 150 Angus was Allanvale Estate, Avenel.
These Landfall-blood Angus calves, aged 7 to 8 months and yard weaned, recorded sales of: 19 head, 326kg sold at $2330, another 19 head, 308kg sold at $2350; a yard of 23, 283kg sold at $2290 while 23, 279kg made $2240 and 22, 277kg made $2210.
Harold and Annette Cocking, Gooram mustered 120 Angus by Black Magic Angus bulls.
Weaned and aged 8-9 months, they saw their best sale top at $2550- 22, 381kg, while their second pen of 20, 358kg made $2440 while a third yard of 22, 337kg made $2400.
Leone Ryan, Pyalong came forward with 100 Angus steers by Adameluca and Weemalah Angus bulls. Her first yard of 20, 375kg made $2510, and a second pen of 40, 338kg was sold $2450.
All of these sales feature in Beef Central’s live vision of the sale:
Meanwhile from a buyer’s perspective, opinions varied on the profit margins being taken by bullock finishers replacing cattle sold.
West Gippsland agents Neil Darby, Alex Scott and Staff said his purchases for various clients on the day averaged $2520 for 375kg of live animal.
He said these purchasers were to replace cattle mostly held for 15 months and sold out at $3600 to $3700 at weights topping 430kg dressed carcase.
The change-over he estimated was equivalent to $1200 a head or around $80/head/month.
However, he said few people would work their “sell-to-buy” results in this manner, and less work made a profit determination on a per monthly rate.
From a feeder order perspective, Chris Stanley, Chris Stanley Livestock was the principal feeder operative purchasing 487 head for the Rangers Valley Feedlot, Quirindi supply chain in northern NSW.
As a repeat buyer of Euroa weaners, he said while prices were possibly 10-15c/kg higher than he had previously experienced the Euroa cattle suited the needs of Rangers Valley, and all of cattle purchased would be loaded and trucked to backgrounders in the New England area.
Long may this regime of prices continue as the breeders of the outstanding young beef weaners are reaping the benefits on their long and continued investment in quality genetics.