On The Land

20 March, 2023

Low yarding, high quality at sales

HEAVY rainfall put a dampen on last week’s Mareeba Sales numbers, with only 121 head going up for auction, yet despite low numbers, quality cattle saw a yard averaged 322.12c/kg or $1028.72/head.

By Ellie Fink

Although a small yarding, there was quality cattle present at last week’s Mareeba Sales.
Although a small yarding, there was quality cattle present at last week’s Mareeba Sales.

Recent flooding in the region has left several graziers stranded, unable to bring their cattle to yard.

This time last year (1 March 2022), Mareeba Saleyard had 880 head in attendance and recorded some of its highest prices, smashing a new record for average $/head at $1703.20/head and sale record ox at 508.2c/kg.

Comparatively, as a result of unpredictable weather, the price of cattle has dropped by 186.96c/kg (average) less than March 2022.

Property owner Chad Posselt purchased several heifers for southern cattle traders LPC and commented on the lack of head in the yard and how he also struggled to get his own cattle in due to weather.

“It was a very small yarding and wasn’t much cattle to choose from so not all commission buyers were active,” he said.

“I think the weather was a huge factor because cattle just can’t get to the sale. I know myself we couldn’t get cattle in that were due to come to the sale so I guess we will have to wait out the weather from here.

“The market is on a downward trend and falling with all other cattle sales in the state so we just have to try and keep our finger on the pulse and watch it.”

Duty agent and saleyard livestock specialist for Queensland Rural Luke Hickmott echoed Mr Posselt’s comments on the weather and the effect it has had on the current sales.

Although small in size, he believes the yarding offered high quality beef and believes there’s a possibility for the money to rise.

“Obviously it was a little bit slower and quieter than usual but I think that it is still on par with the money,” he said.

“I think it was fairly good actually even with the cow money, store money, store feeder steers and heifers – everything sort of held its own.

“It’s a hard one because we haven’t had to many sales to gauge on for some time but I think it was a reasonable day for Mareeba.

“It could have been a lot worse.

“I think we will keep cruising along for a little bit until mid-year, with the current weather we are probably not going to get a lot of cattle out for another month or four to six weeks for first round musters,” he said.

“We are going to be running small sales for a lot of it and then I think we will get going as cattle starts coming up from the south.

“I think the money might hold or maybe even go a bit higher towards the end of the year – it’s a gamble though.”

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