AS IF to underline the overwhelming sense of optimism over cattle price outlook evident among people attending Beef 2015 last week, both saleyards and online cattle auction platforms have set new cents-per-kilo or dollars per head price records since Wednesday.
As discussed elsewhere on Beef Central today, there was a palpable sense of excitement and anticipation during the Beef 2015 event ending on Friday as the livestock supply-demand pendulum starts to swing dramatically back in producers’ favour.
The Eastern Young Cattle Indicator closed on Thursday (no figure generated Friday due to lack of sales) at another record-high of 472.5c/kg. That’s a rise of 12c/kg on this time a week ago; +39c/kg on this time in April; and a vast 133c/kg up on 12 months ago.
Friday’s weekly Auctions Plus online auction set a cracking pace, including what looks like an all-time record cents-per-kilo price on the online marketing platform. Absolute confirmation was made difficult on Friday because most personnel were away from the office, in Rockhampton for the week’s events.
AuctionsPlus market operations coordinator, Anna Adams said Friday’s offering, especially the young cattle, ‘went like hotcakes’, building on price momentum seen during the previous two or three weekly AuctionsPlus sales.
A sustained price spike like that witnessed since late April often pushes listings onto AuctionsPlus, and Friday’s sale saw a big catalogue of more than 7000 head offered, well up on earlier weeks.
Domestic feeder-weight cattle averaged around 282c/kg liveweight, with quite a few lines averaging better than 300c/kg. Remember that is on-farm, with no freight component.
Rates reached an extraordinary peak of 375c/kg ($720 a head) for a line of light Angus and Angus x Santa weaner steers, averaging 192kg liveweight out of Tooobeah, west of Goondiwindi on the Queensland/NSW border. The steers sold to backgrounders for later feedlot placement.
Is it an all-time AuctionsPlus record, on a cents per kilo basis? While it appears likely, for the sake of the headline, let’s at this stage call it ‘possibly’, until we discover more tomorrow.
At the heavier end in the domestic feeder category in Friday’s sale was a line of 377kg liveweight Black steers out of Walcha, EU-accredited, which sold for 306c/kg liveweight. That’s more than $1150 a head, on-farm, no freight. Another good line of 341kg black steers out of Guyra sold for 308c to backgrounders.
Another line of Angus and Angus x Santa steers 322kg from southern Queensland sold for 304c/kg.
Just three or four weeks ago, similar 320-350kg flatback-type feeder cattle were making 280-285c on AuctionsPlus, suggesting the market for those descriptions has kicked at least 20c or more since then.
While young cattle were the attention-grabbers, there was also some very good sales recorded in breeding cattle on AuctionsPlus on Friday, with registered Santa heifers 466kg rising two years old from Gyranda, Theodore selling for $1530.
Saleyards heavy weaner record?
In the physical markets, what appears to be an Eastern States saleyards record for heavy weaners was paid at a Walcha store weaner sale on Wednesday, when specialist large-scale backgrounder Ceres Agriculture paid $1264.76 a head for a pen of 11-month-old Shorthorn steers.
The steers, weighing 442kg, were bred by local breeder DK Hoad and put through selling agent Sam Martin, Elders Walcha. Ceres bought them for $2.86/kg.
Bigger cents/kg prices have been paid for light weaners, but it is believed to be an Eastern Australian record $/head figure for heavier weaners.
The line was offered as pen-one in Wednesday’s Walcha sale, setting a cracking pace for the cattle that followed.
A pen of 404kg heifer siblings to the record-setting steers offered by the same vendor, topped the heifer portion of the catalogue, selling for $2.45/kg to return just under $990 a head.
The Hoad family sources most of its bulls from the Shorthorn National sale at Dubbo, and the record couldn’t have come at a better time, with the Dubbo Sale to be held next month, Shorthorn Beef business development manager Graham Winnell said.
“While most Shorthorn cattle are sold direct to either feedlots or processors, results like this show the demand that quality Shorthorn cattle can generate when sold in the yards, and provides some transparency to the competitive pricing for Shorthorns,” he said.