Processors, live exporters lock horns in Friday’s AuctionsPlus sale + VIDEO

Jon Condon, 24/08/2015

Rare – perhaps unprecedented – direct auction competition between southern beef processors and northern live exporters was seen on AuctionsPlus on Friday, when a large line of Territory-bred Brahman steers was offered.

A single line of 432 Brahman steers offered by Justin and Sally Dyer from Hayfield Station, between Katherine and Tennant Creek, attracted bidding attention from three channels – processors, live exporters and restockers – with bids posted from Queensland, NSW, the Northern Territory and Western Australia.

Beef Central would suggest it may be the widest geographic ‘bidding footprint’ ever seen for commercial cattle being sold in Australia.

The steers made 19c/kg above their reserve price, fetching 277c/kg live, or $1346 on-property. For the record, the successful bidder, in the blue corner, was a live exporter.

The well-bred Brahman steers were 24-40 months of age, and weighed 420-630kg live, with an average estimated at assessment of 478kg, mostly fat score 3s. Most were four-tooth and six tooths, with age-brands from No1s to No 3s.

Click here to view a short listing video:

Assessor Paul McCormick from Elders Katherine described the Hayfield steers as an extremely well-bred group, exhibiting all the best traits of the Brahman breed. “Ideally situated for the northern live export market, yet highly enough regarded for consideration by southern & eastern (processing) operations. Would suit immediate kill on the lead and feed-on if required for the lighter/younger end,” his listing comments said.

As Beef Central discussed in this recent article, growing slaughter cattle shortage has seen southern and eastern processors pushing further and further north in recent months, coming into direct market conflict recently with live exporters. At the same time the northern live export market has an elevated interest in heavier cattle at present, with more than 300,000 head of heavier stock shipped to Vietnam last financial year, and Indonesia recently announcing import permits for 50,000 heavier cattle, above the long-standing 350kg weight limit.


Cows & calves to $2000, heifers to 317c

Overall cattle numbers in Friday’s Auctions Plus sales totalled 7200 head, down about 1900 on the week before.

Friday’s sale saw steers weighing less than 250kg making 290-333c to average 307c, down 14c on the previous week, while young heifers in the same weight range made 258-336c to average 292c, up 13c.

An Angus breeder from Cooma offered the top lines of both steers and heifers, with 6-7 month old steers weighing 181kg making 333c or $605, and their half-sib sisters from the same property weighing 184kg making 336c or $620.

Steers 250kg-300kg made 235-356c to average 300c, down 3c and heifers made 271-317c to average 291c, up 27c.

With the drive coming from the restockers, there were two offerings of future breeder heifers that broke 300c, with a line of 10-11 month-old Angus heifers from Caragabal, NSW weighing 267kg, making 317c or $850.

Steers 300-350kg sold for 299-358c to average 331c, up 15c, while heifers in the same weight range made 216c–305c to average 278c, up 11c. The top line of steers came from Cargo, NSW a line of 14-15 month old Wagyu/ Angus weighing 314kg, making 358c or $1130. Unjoined yearling Simmental/ Angus heifers weighing 308kg, made 305c or $945.

A line of 150 quality Brahman heifers at Charters Towers, 24-32 months and 344kg liveweight, made 216c/kg live, or $742 a head.

Heavy steers weighing 350kg or more made 256-325c to average 292c, down 33c and heavier heifers making between 264c- 289c averaging 277c, up 23c. A line of yearling Angus and Angus/ Hereford steers, 369kg, from Yass made 325c or $1205.

A line of 286 PTIC Santa and Santa cross cows, all EU eligible, from Theodore Qld, sold in five lines, making from $1080 at the lighter end to $1280 for 66 heavier cows averaging 494kg.

A line of young three-year-old Angus/Shorthorn cows and calves from Ballimore, NSW, saw a top price of $2000.

Underscoring the general high demand and apparent supply shortfall for Wagyu herd bulls at present, seven Fullblood registered Wagyu bulls, two to four years, from Pinnacle, near Roma property made from $6200 to $7000 each, sold individually. The listing comments said the bulls were only being offered due to a lack of female numbers on the property.

Slaughter sales

Western Australia saw stand-out slaughter prices, with a line of Angus and Simmental/ Angus steers, 272kg dressed weight, making 578c/kg carcase weight, and three lines of cows with estimated carcase weights ranging from 309kg to 373kg all making 424c/kg, carcase weight.

Click here to view full results from Friday’s AuctionsPlus weekly sale.


Coming up on AuctionsPlus:

  • Feature lines being offered on AuctionsPlus this Friday, August 28, will include 250 PTIC Santa and Santa cross cows, EU accredited, account Moocoorooba, Theodore (Qld), and 120 PTIC No 4 EU heifers carrying similar breeding, from the same vendor. They will be followed a week later by approximately 500 No 4 and 5 Santa and Santa cross steers and heifers, all EU accredited, account the same vendor. Contact Brad Hanson at Hourn & Bishop for details (0408 684 612), or click here to view listing later this week.
  • Hayfield Station, NT is likely to be offering another big line of lighter Brahman steers and heifers on AuctionsPlus on Friday, September 5. Numbers are likely to be around 1200, but more details closer to sale date.
  • Weebollabolla Shorthorns, Moree will host its annual Weebollabolla-infused restocker sale on Friday, September 12.





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  1. Dennis Scanlon, 27/08/2015

    The system of sale by description which is Auctions Plus is now beginning to deliver the results believed possible so long ago : to bring full competition from all of Australia and overseas markets to Livestock Producers who so trustingly and far-sightedly backed it financially so many years ago. A great result.

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