KIMBERLEY pastoralists let an opportunity to secure quality Brahman bulls slip through their fingers at the 10th WALSA Broome Bos Indicus Bull Sale.
The sale this year proved a hard slog again for vendors and agents with only 34 of the 52 bulls offered, selling under the hammer for an average of $2521 and a top of $3500 on three occasions.
Despite the low clearance under the hammer all the passed-in bulls were quickly snapped up after the sale by the supporting buyers which in the end resulted in a 100 per cent clearance for the vendors.
While the quality of bulls on offer couldn't be questioned, buyers were apprehensive as they are still struggling to make ends meet following the suspension of the live export trade to Indonesia in 2011.
Elders auctioneer Gary Preston said the quality of the yarding was very good and the vendors needed to be congratulated on the presentation of the bulls considering the season they were coming off and promoting it as a BJD-free sale.
"Overall the sale was a little disappointing given the quality of bulls and the end result was just due to a lack of volume buyers," he said.
"Most of the traditional buyers purchased at the sale but they were reserved in their buying as a result of the stresses they have faced over the last two years due to industry issues.
"It was pleasing to see, however, a new buyer in the sale, Napier Downs station, which was chasing red bulls."
WA Brahman Breeders Association president Kathy Lovelock said while the sale was tough the vendors again appreciated the continued support of the sale's regular buyers.
"The end result really was just the case of the sale being short of a couple of buyers," she said.
"The increased quotas have been a positive for the industry but they are proving difficult to fill due to the increased weights.
"Everyone has changed their breeding program to supply the lighter weights so in the main the increased quota numbers haven't helped out in the short term."
Taking the honour of selling the three $3500 equal top-priced bulls in the sale was the Wesley family's Charlesville stud, Southern Cross.
All three bulls were purchased by regular Charlesville buyer Lawson Klopper, Christmas Creek station, Fitzroy Crossing.
The three grey bulls, were all 24-months-old and sired by Charlesville Percy 1547 (P).
Along with the three top-priced bulls, the Fitzroy Crossing station went on to purchase another five grey Percy sons at $3200 (twice), $3000 (twice) and $2500 under the hammer, plus another after the sale.
Also taking a liking to the Charlesville bulls was first-time sale buyer Peter Leutenegger, Napier Downs station, Derby, who purchased three red bulls at $2400 and $2200 (twice).
The three bulls were all 17-months-old and by Wallton Downs 6/03.
By the end of the sale the Charlesville stud had sold 13 bulls under the hammer from the team of 15 it had offered at an average of $2331.
Making the trip up from Williams with a team of five bulls was the Paterson family, Birrahlee stud, Williams.
During the sale it cleared four bulls under the hammer at an average of $2325 and to a top of $2500.
The stud's $2500 top-priced bull was secured by John Grey, JR & PM Grey, Thangoo station, Broome.
The red, March 2011-drop bull, Birrahlee Sinbad 11/506 (P), was sired by Birrahlee Rocket 07/206 and showed a neat sheath and good doing ability.
Along with the top-priced Birrahlee bull, Mr Grey purchased another Birrahlee sire at auction for $2200 and its passed-in bull for $2000, after the sale.
The other two Birrahlee bulls were purchased by Napier Downs at $2400 and $2200 and both these were red bulls.
The Canterbury stud, New Norcia, offered the largest team of bulls with 23 catalogued.
By the completion of the sale 12 had sold under the hammer at an average of $2383, while its passed-in bulls were quickly snapped up post-sale.
The Canterbury team topped at $2900 on three occasions late in the sale and on each occasion it was the Stoate family, Anna Plains station, via Broome, which was pencilled in the books as the buyer.
The three bulls were all grey and aged 20 to 24 months and were by Roxborough Boy, Hillview Mowhawk (P) and Canterbury Memorabul (P).
Along with these three bulls, Anna Plains purchased another four Canterbury bulls at auction for $2200 plus eight more post-sale.
Also purchasing from Canterbury was Frank and Sue Grey, Fly Flat, Thangoo station, Broome, which purchased two bulls under the hammer at $2300 and $2200 and three post-sale, while John Grey secured two bulls both at $2200 and Napier Downs took one at $2200.
The Catoby stud offered two bulls in the sale and both were purchased by Anna Plains, one under the hammer for $2200 and one post-sale.
Offering three bulls in the sale was the Ryvoan stud, New Norcia.
It sold two under the hammer both at $2200 with the purchasers Anna Plains and Fly Flat.
The Condamine/Kindillan studs, Nallan station, Cue, offered four sires and sold two under the hammer, both at $2200, with the purchasers being John Grey and Anna Plains.
Anna Plains also purchased the two passed-in bulls from the stud.