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Community & Business

8 August, 2021

Cattle industry juggernaut continues to rise

THERE have been more cattle price records broken at the Mareeba Sale Yards this year than there have been new world swimming records set in the Tokyo Olympic pool, and last Tuesday was no exception, with two more records toppling in the store section of the sale.


Catherine McMahon from Upper Barron was one of the keen local buyers looking for cattle at last week's sale. She had her eye on this pen of quiet young weaners, but found their sale price of $5.58/kg too far beyond her budget.

BY SALLY TURLEY 

THERE have been more cattle price records broken at the Mareeba Sale Yards this year than there have been new world swimming records set in the Tokyo Olympic pool, and last Tuesday was no exception, with two more records toppling in the store section of the sale. 

In a large yarding of 1339 head, a pen of three yearling store heifers owned by Arthur Westbrook sold to a new sale-yard record of 552.2c/kg. 

Two of the heifers averaged 125kg and the third weighed in at 105kg to deliver a top of $690.25 and an average price of $653.44/hd.

A pen of six yearling steers also smashed all previous sale records when they sold for an impressive 610.2c/kg to average 126kg and $768.85/hd on behalf of S and R White of Dimbulah. These new records followed on the back of the many other records broken at sales throughout the year. 

Last financial year finished on a high note when the June 29 Mareeba sale recorded two new store records of 400.2c/kg for a pen of heifers and a very exciting 538.2c/ kg for Mickey bulls.

The 2021/22 financial year also got off to a strong start and kept the focus firmly on young cattle, with the July 7 sale posting a new record of 420.2c/kg for a pen of store steers. 

Two weeks later at the July 20 sale, another three records for Cows, Mickeys and store Heifers tumbled. 

Topping the draft of 504 cows was a pen that sold for 403.2c/kg, the top pen from the 192 heifers on offer recorded a new high of 550.2c/kg and a select pen of the 262 bulls yarded, reached a staggering 630.2c/kg. 

This upward trend has also been reflected across the total sale yard averages being recorded from week to week. 

The June 22 sale included a few lines of rougher cattle to average 299.8 cents across the combined yarding of 1132head and apart from a spike in the June 29 result which was due largely to a large draft of 425 record price bulls, that average has been climbing gradually ever since.

The average for the July 6 yarding of 946 head came in at 346 c/kg which increased slightly to 351c/kg for the 1602 head sold on July 13; just over 361c/kg across the 1638 head auctioned on July 20 and 371.45c/kg for last week's draft of 1339 head. 

Is it sustainable? Queensland Rural's Livestock Specialist, Wayne Shepherd believes so. He said last week's market was fully firm with a 3-5 cent price rise for cows.

Mr Shepherd said the demand was still there in the market place and he already had over 400 head booked in for the next sale.

He believed the next Charters Towers sale would also be very strong. Last week's sale was down almost 300 head on the previous week and the buying panel of 4 major export buyers and 2 local processors made it hard for the small group of keen, local buyers to operate in a very strong market bringing extremely steep prices for young, quality cattle. 

Heavier store steers and bulls sold to highs of 494.2c/ kg and 492.2c/kg respectively, cows sold to 348.2c/kg and bigger heifers realized a top of 422.2c/kg. 

Prime quotes were a little more modest but still very healthy, with Local Trade Heifers and cows bringing 368 and 334c/kg, Live Export Bulls made 382c/kg and Cows and Ox for Slaughter topped at 322 and 374c/kg.

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