THE extraordinary cattle market conditions heading into March have again driven trading on AuctionsPlus to record throughput levels this week, re-set c/kg price records, and facilitated sales of cattle heading from one side of the continent to the other.
The largest offering of cattle in a single day was again broken yesterday, with 23,677 head offered across four commercial sales, while the weekly Weaner & Yearling Sale re-set the record achieved only a week earlier, with 16,172 head (including re-offers) put before bidders.
Extreme high levels of interest was still evident, with just under 1700 people connecting to one or more of the sales and more than 300 active bidders in the Weaner & Yearling Sale.
Another record c/kg price
Heifers sold to another all-time AuctionsPlus record for non-Wagyu cattle this week, with a line of 30 Santa heifers 3-5 months, Gyranda genetics, averaging 122kg from Goondiwindi, southern Queensland, making 686.3c/kg, or $840 a head, on-farm. The heifers represent the last line of Wynhari Partnership cattle to be sold, as the breeding herd has been dispersed after 50 years of operations near Goondiwindi.
The previous record of 669c/kg was only set the previous week, for 38 Angus weaner steers from Moulamein in the Riverina, 5-7 months averaging 124kg.
In another startling first driven by current cattle market conditions, young cattle from Western Australia’s Gascoyne, Greenough and Lower Great Southern regions found buyers in northern and southern NSW, Victoria and South Australia. Beef Central first wrote about signs of WA cattle heading into the eastern states in this report, published a fortnight ago.
Light heifers and steers less than 280kg made up 42 percent of this week’s offering, while there were more than 3800 feeder cattle offered. There was also see a number of restocker breeder articles offered, including more than 4300 cows & calves, and joined females.
Southern Queensland continued to top the regions for stock numbers listed with 3200 head, while the Riverina surged into the second spot with 2600 head offered.
Eastern states buyers for WA cattle
The booming eastern Australian cattle market has pricked up the ears of West Australians. In this week’s Weaner & Yearling sale, there was 900 head of light steer and heifer calves from the Lower Great Southern region, while a feature Nutrien sale also saw 2500 light Droughtmaster, crossbred and Brahman calves from the Gascoyne, Greenough and Lower Great Southern regions of WA. Some of those lines will travel to buyers as far as northern NSW, southern NSW, VIC and SA.
In one example, 240kg mixed sex Droughtmaster cross backgrounders from East Bowes, WA sold to a buyer in Northern NSW for 263c/kg live, and will travel 3800km to their new home. A second line of 304kg Droughtmaster x Shorthorn steers from Denmark, WA sold to a buyer in Central VIC for 284c, making a 3000km journey.
The Nutrien WA Feature sale resulted in an 89pc clearance. Results from the sale saw heifers sell from 235c to 283c, to average 250c, with the top price returned by a line of composite backgrounders, 7-24 months, averaging 191kg. The mixed sex offering averaged 278c, selling from 245c to 343c, with the top price returned by a line of composite mixed sex calves, 3-6 months weighing 135kg. The sale also saw one line of Droughtmaster cross weaned bulls, weighing 165kg sell for 283c.
After strong prices last week, PTIC heifers were back slightly this week, averaging $1698, selling from $1320 to $2210. Top price was returned by a line of Angus heifers 22-23 months averaging 601kg, and joined to Angus bulls, from Yarram, VIC.
From Wallumbilla, QLD a line of Charolais x, Simmental x and Santa x heifers returned $1680. These 17-19 month old heifers averaged 463kg and were PTIC to Angus bulls.
PTIC cows sold from $1060 to $2240, averaging $1671 down $159 on last week. A line of four-year-old cows from Oberon, NSW, 498kg, PTIC to Black Composite bulls returned $1990. From Bell, QLD, a line of Angus cross 3-6 year old cows PTIC to Angus bulls, 527kg, returned $1510 and will travel across the border into NSW.
Cows with calves at foot averaged $2127, up $54 on last week, selling from $1270 to $2920. From Boulia, QLD a line of 2-4 year old crossbred station-mated cows, 429kg with calves at foot sired by Brahman bulls, returned $1770 and will travel 2000kms to Deniliquin, NSW.
Lighter steers less than 200kg averaged 504c, down 3c on last week, selling from 394c to 640c. Top price went to a line of 37 Santa and Shorthorn x, 3-5 month old steers 134kg from Goondiwindi, QLD – brothers to the record-setting heifers referenced above.
Steers 200-280kg sold from 272-558c, down 12c on last week to average 459c. From Weerite, VIC a line of Angus steers, 6-7 months, weighing 207kg returned 541c. From Glenn Innes, NSW a line of 12-13 month old Angus x Hereford steers, 251kg returned 450c and will head north across the border.
Steers 280-330kg sold from 276c to 465c, averaging 411c, down 10c on last week. Top price was returned by a line of 64 Angus backgrounder steers from North Star, northern NSW, 12-16 months averaging 306kg. From Denmark, WA a line of Droughtmaster x and Hereford x steers, 6-14 months averaging 321kg returned 284c and will make the 3300km trip across the Nullabor into Yarrawonga, VIC.
Feeder steers weighing between 330 and 400kg saw strong buyer interest with the offering receiving a 97pc clearance. Selling from 331c to 480c, the category averaged 412c, up 8c on last week. Returning the top price was a small line of Wagyu x Angus steers from Macarthur, VIC, aged 15-18 months and averaging 333kg. From Inman Valley, SA a line of Angus steers 10-11 months averaging 399kg returned 431c; while from Aramac, QLD a line of Droughtmaster x steers, 12-16 months averaging 347kg returned 421c.
Steers heavier than 400kg averaged 375c, down 14c on last week, selling from 360c to 397c. From Camperdown, VIC a line of Angus x South Devon steers, 15-16 months averaging 435kg returned 378c and will travel across the border into NSW.
Heifers less than 200kg sold from 400c/kg to the new record high for AuctionsPlus (described above) of 686.3c/kg this week.
Heifers 280-330kg averaged 381c, up 5c on last week, selling from 328c to 453c. From Narrandera, NSW a line of Hereford NSM future breeders, 12 months old averaging 312kg returned 417c and will head into VIC. From Tintinara, SA a line of Angus x heifers, 7-8 months old averaging 304kg returned 393c.
Feeder heifers 330 to 400kg averaged 383c this week, up 21c, selling from 321c to 453c. From Inverell, NSW a line of Brangus/Angus heifers, 9-10 months averaging 355kg returned 436c.
Heifers 400kg and heavier sold from 347c to 391c, averaging 372c, up 11 on last week. Top price was returned by a line of Angus feeder heifers from Digby VIC, 16-17 months averaging 421kg.
Looking to Tasmania, the weekly sale saw 100pc clearance achieved for the fifth week in a row. Steers heavier than 330kg averaged 372c, selling from 366c to 382c. From Lower Beaulah, a line of Shorthorn steers, 12-16 months, 412kg returned the top price. Heifers 280-330kg averaged 359c, selling from 339c to 382c. Top price was returned by a line of Angus heifers from Waterhouse, 7 months old averaging 326kg. Heifers over 330kg sold from 321c to 336c, averaging 325c.
This week saw a smaller offering in the WA cattle sale and resulted in 100pc clearance. Top price went to a line of 65 Friesian and Friesian X slaughter cows, ranging from 30-90 months, averaging 284kg dressed, selling for 450c/kg dressed.
In a breakdown of young cattle sold this week, by weightrange:
- Under 200kg: Steers sold from 241-668c/kg to average 452c/kg, while heifers sold from 223-686c/kg to average 401c/kg
- 200-280kg: Steers sold from 237-558c to average 424c, while heifers sold from 175-557c to average 355c
- 280-330kg: Steers sold from 256-496c to average 399c, while heifers sold from 242c to 453c to average 355c
- 330-400kg: Steers sold from 267-480c to average 390c, while heifers sold from 233-437c to average 348c
- 400+kg: Steers sold from 274c-424c to average 355c, while heifers sold from 250-391c to average 341c.
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