On The Land

22 February, 2023

Low prices kick off first sales of 2023

VENDORS, bidders and spectators were shocked by the significantly low prices seen at the first Mareeba cattle sale of the year.

11 brown yearling steer stood out amongst the rest.
11 brown yearling steer stood out amongst the rest.

A total yarding of 312 head from across the Tablelands were on offer, going for an average of 263.02c/kg or $826.60/head.

Many buyers and spectators were shocked by how “cheap” cattle were going for, compared to last year’s record breaking first sales of the year of an average price of 497.03c/kg or $1,593.08/ head.

Quality beef still stood out amongst them though, with a pen of 11 brown yearling steer that had the highest price of about 462c/kg ranking the highest in the sales.

Although prices were low, Elder’s branch manager Mark Peters was impressed with the turnout.

“People are always keen on how the market might go when there hasn’t been one for a couple of months,” he said.

“300 head of cattle is not a bad number to get started with and we have had years where we have started with only 30 or 40 head… but getting the market underway sort of gets things going.

“Whether you’re selling cattle or buying cattle, everyone wants to know the same thing – ‘what are they are going to make this week?’ and the result this week is the good cattle have been very good and for the lesser quality cattle are where they are, and you get two opposite ends of the spectrum.”

There are high hopes for the remainder of the year, with sellers and bidders waiting on the wet season to finish so cattle from the Cape and Gulf can join the selection.

As the market value continues to alter, Mr Pe-ter’s said he hopes to see a decent yardage this year but isn’t expecting record prices like last year.

“We had an extraordinary selling season last year with nearly 60,000 head but I don’t think that’s the likelihood this year,” he said.

“I just don’t think the supply of cattle will amount to that many from the area the cattle are drawn from.”

The next sale will take place on 28 February at the Mareeba Saleyards.


• Total yarding 312 head including 31 head sold by Open Auction

• Yard averaged 263.02c/kg averaging $826.60/head

• 39 Bulls averaged 185.5c/kg selling to a top of 266.2c/kg

• 0 Bobby Calves 0c/kg to a top of 0c/kg

• 78 Cows averaged 245.9c/kg to a top of 274.2.2c/kg

• 15 Steers averaged 314.6c/kg selling to a top of 364.2c/kg

• 20 Heifers averaged 258.4c/kg selling to a top of 278.2c/kg

• 21 Yearling bulls averaged 270.8c/kg selling to a top of 326.2c/kg

• 72 Yearling heifers averaged 265.8c/kg selling to a top of 376.2c/kg

• 36 Yearling steers averaged 381.4c/kg selling to a top of 460.2c/kg

• 1+1 cows and calves @ $950

• 1+1 cows and calves @ $1150

• 4+4 cows and calves @ $700

• 25+24 cows and calves @ $1900


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