Twelve months ago the cattle industry experienced what could only be described as a buoyant market. In September 2015 the beef cattle industry experienced a shift in confidence as Angus steers broke through the 400c/kg mark and the record average price for Angus bulls sold at auction in Australia was smashed.
Given the conditions across much of Australia at the time, no one could have foreseen that twelve months on, seed stock and commercial cattle producers would still be experiencing record breaking prices.
The Millah Murrah Angus bull sale held near Bathurst on September 1st 2016 exceeded all expectations as the record average price for all breeds sold at auction in Australia was eclipsed. The sale received a 100% clearance of 109 bulls to average an astonishing $16,348.
This result was a $1,452 improvement on the $14,896 record the same vendor set in 2015 and a new Australian record for bulls sold at auction for all breeds in Australia.
Reaching a top price of $85,000, (a more modest result than the $150,000 achieved in 2015), was Lot 13, Millah Murrah Up River L133. The 788kg son of Thomas Up River 1614, was purchased by Ascot Angus and ABS Australia.
Needless to say $85,000 is currently the highest price paid for an Angus bull at auction in 2016. The strength of the average price is an indication of the confidence in the beef industry and the genetic improvement that can be obtained from using recorded Angus genetics.
Vendor Ross Thompson credits this shift in beef industry confidence for the stunning result.
‘It was a colossal sale, but certainly indicative of the new economy in the beef cattle job. We are starting to see the premiums come back through in to the bull market,’ said Mr Thompson.
‘It is not that surprising that record averages at bull sales are being achieved, as the industry is seeing a re-pricing in the commercial market ,‘ he said.
‘And given the climate, the next big thing we will expect to see go through the roof is the commercial cow market, as restockers look to rebuild herd numbers in a climate that has seen the national cow herd fall to an all time low’.
Auctioneer Paul Dooley, Bill Cornell of ABS Australia, Ross Thompson, Millah Murrah Angus stud, Bathurst, with buyers of the top priced $85,000 bull, Millah Murrah Up River L133, Jim Wedge and Jackie Chard of Ascot Angus stud, Warwick. Image courtesy of The Land.
Angus Australia Marketing and Communications Manager, Diana Wood noted that this result comes off the back of the start of a very strong spring bull sale season.
‘Since July 1st, an analysis of reported bull sale results shows that at least 3,065 registered Angus bulls have been sold at auction across New South Wales and Queensland, to average $8,122,’ said Mrs Wood.
The total number of bulls sold for the year currently sits at 6,478, at an average of $7,014.
With at least another 1,600 Angus bulls catalogue for auction, Angus breeders are on track to have once again sold in excess of 8,000 bulls for the year. But it is important to keep in mind that this does not include any private bull sales.
Dr Peter Parnell, Chief Executive Officer of Angus Australia has highlighted that confidence in the beef industry is an at all time all high.
‘Coinciding with the escalation of the value of commercial cattle, the record sale prices for high quality seedstock across all breeds is very positive for the beef industry’, said Dr Parnell.
‘In the Angus breed we have consistently seen record sale clearances and average prices achieved for breeders of well recorded registered bulls. This is a positive reward for those breeders who have invested in the long-term genetic improvement of their seedstock for performance traits valued in the supply chain – such as growth, marbling and yield,’ he said.
On the back of good rainfall, a favourable seasonal outlook and reinvigorated restocker demand, the commercial sector is certainly reflecting this positivity throughout the entire industry.
500c/kg has become the new 400c/kg for steers and heifers regularly hit 400c/kg.
At the Roma store cattle sale on July 5th, 21 decks or 750 mixed sex EU Angus weaners, 7 to 10 months old, from the Shaw Family’s, JS Grazing Co, Injune Queensland achieved record breaking prices.
Watkins and Co livestock agent Brad Neven said the JS Grazing weaner sale represented the highest average for a line of weaner steers ever sold at Roma.
468 weaner steers averaging 296kg, topped at 408c/kg to average 400.4c/kg, (average of $1,185 per head).
282 weaner heifers averaging 270kg, topped at 402c/kg to average 389c/kg, (average $1,053 per head).
More recently at the Central Tablelands Livestock Exchange, Carocar NSW, on August 12, 26 Angus steers, 199kg, 9-10 months and offered by GD Millar made 512c/kg or $1,020.
The same vendor offered 17 Angus heifers, 188kg, to top the sale at 404c/kg or $760.
Restockers continue to outlay in excess of $2,000 for cows and calves as producers look to rebuild numbers.
At Bairnsdale, VIC on August 26, Angus heifers and cows with mixed age calves at foot, sold by JT & JA Vardy topped the sale at $2,220.
On AuctionsPlus on August 19, 63 Angus cows with calves at foot, on account of MM & EK Seccombe, Warren NSW made $2,400.
And today it has been reported that Angus steers at Wangaratta have made 514c/kg or $900 for 175kg.
Pictured top: Julie & Jeremy Shaw, JS Grazing Co. Roma, QLD in front of their record breaking Angus weaners.