MORE competition for cattle is set to hit WA with Otway Livestock Exports looking to significantly increase its buying presence.
A Victorian company, Otway was formerly known as AH & R Schmidt and has bought small orders in WA in the past.
Otway Livestock Exports managing director Alan Schmidt said after becoming more established in the market, the company will be shipping on a more regular basis this year.
"In previous years we have been shipping about 15,000 to 20,000 cattle a year, but we plan to increase that significantly," Mr Schmidt said.
"We have been building our relationships and trading in the Israel market for four years.
"The demand from our customers is solid, but it has been growing. Israel is a country of big meat eaters and it is a good market."
But as prices hold firm and numbers tighten in WA's southern saleyards, Mr Schmidt said Otway will continue to look to WA's north for export quality cattle.
"There is a lot of competition in the market at the moment," Mr Schmidt said.
"We have already purchased between 1000-1500 cattle in the Bluetongue zone.
"We will be looking to buy more from that area, and bring them further south for the 60-plus day period."
Otway Livestock Exports buyer Graham Brown told Farm Weekly exporters are looking all over the State for cattle, due to limited supply, high prices and strong demand.
"We are buying cattle from the Kimberley down through the Gascoyne region," Mr Brown said.
"I have never seen demand like this before.
"We have seen the peaks, but I don't think there is a trough coming soon
"It is getting harder to find cattle, so we are looking further north in the Bluetongue zone.
"But because of our market, we will have to background them further south, due to the Bluetongue risk.
"The few cattle coming through the saleyards are selling at top dollar and it is a tight game at the moment."
At Muchea saleyards last week, cattle supplies decreased by 10 per cent according to Elders.
Quality was mixed, with some local drafts and a good number of pastoral cattle.
Cow supplies were strong and heifer numbers were strong again, however steers were limited.
Elders reported dearer prices with tighter supply.
Lighter bull drafts to live export sold between 220-290c/kg, with some light bulls selling at the top price of 331c/kg.
Landmark reported 1194 head of cattle at the sale at Muchea on May 25, with pastoral cattle dominating the yarding.
Landmark reported there was rivalry for young bulls suitable for live export with lightweights, local, and pastoral.
Medium weight pastoral steers also created competition.
Mr Brown said it seems the demand is for all types of cattle.
"We are constantly looking," Mr Brown said.
"It seems no sooner have you found some, you are out again looking for more."