CONFIDENCE in the WA cattle industry is sky high with local and interstate lotfeeders and graziers sending the Boyanup store cattle market to record levels again last week.
Following Nutrien Livestock's record breaking dairy store sale the previous week, the second leg of the two-day June Special store sales saw the strongest market at Boyanup this selling season and capped off an outstanding month for the company at the venue.
The Nutrien Livestock South West team presented a good quality yarding of 771 beef cattle which was predominantely beef steer and heifer weaners and yearlings with a small run of beef cows and calves.
The return of a South Australian lotfeeder operating on AuctionsPlus fuelled an already strong market driven by the State's lotfeeders and increased grazier enquiry, particularly for heifers, to record a resounding and new record overall sale average of $1817.
In summary, weaner steers less than 200 kilograms averaged 555 cents a kilogram, steers from 200-280kg sold to 654c/kg, mediumweight steers 280-330kg averaged 558c/kg and steers weighing more than 330c/kg averaged 530c/kg.
Weaner heifers averaged 543c/kg and were quoted up 43c/kg on the previous comparable beef sale.
Heifers less than 200kg sold to 628c/kg, lightweights 200-280kg averaged 580c/kg, mediumweights 280-330kg averaged 529c/kg and heavier heifers more than 330kg averaged 500c/kg.
Yearling cattle were 40c/kg dearer than the previous sale with steers averaging 470c/kg and yearling heifers 460c/kg.
Heavier mature cows 550-650kg with five-month-old 200kg calves at foot sold to $3150 while lighter weight cows and calves varied in quality and sold to $2550.
The sale was again interfaced on AuctionsPlus with 827 catalogue views resulting in 25 registered bidders logged in locally and from New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Queensland, with 386 bids placed online across 49 lots with 26 lots or 22 per cent of the yarding knocked down to AuctionsPlus.
Strong numbers of beef steers got the sale underway, kicking off with a well presented, even draft of Angus steers offered by one of the sale's larger vendors, R Johnstone, Bridgetown.
The South Australian lotfeeder made its presence felt from the outset paying the draft's $2138 top price at 474c/kg for the first pen of 10 steers weighing 451kg.
But it wasn't until further into the steer run when they snapped up the entire draft of Euro and British bred steers weighing from 463kg to 536kg offered by Morning Watch Pty Ltd paying from $2009 to the sale's $2349 top price at 438c/kg for eight heaviest Charolais steers.
The online buyer operated strongly on heavier steers and heifers lines weighing 430kg plus and finished with 12 pens of steers and 10 pens of heifers but also included a few mediumweight pens of 350-380kg.
It paid the sale's next highest price of $2226 at 486c/kg for 10 Angus cross steers weighing 458kg from the Catalano Farms draft.
Gandy Timbers Pty Ltd's, Manjimup, even draft of 53 well-bred Angus steers were sought after with Rob Gibbings, Elders Capel, representing a southern lotfeeding order collecting several pens, including two pens of Gandy Timbers steers paying to the draft's $2160 top price at 546c/kg for 11 steers averaging 396kg.
WA lotfeeders were well represented on the buyers' list and consistently paid more than $2000 for their selections, too numerous to mention them all in this report.
Alex Roberts, Elders Boyanup, collected several pens of steers for a Wheatbelt feeder order, which included a decent line of 14 Angus steers weighing 405kg offered by The Darke Family Trust costing $2057 and 508c/kg.
Mingin Grazing, Waroona, showed confidence in the industry with its purchases paying to $2106 at 510c/kg for seven Murray Grey cross steers weighing 413kg from the Johnstone draft.
Armed with a significant Wheatbelt grazier order to fill, Mark Talbot, Wedderburn Transport, entered the market on the lighter steers, paying the sale's 654c/kg top liveweight price for eight Angus cross steers averaging 202kg to cost $1320 from the large draft offered by Cape West Investments.
Switching to a grazier order, Mr Roberts paid the next highest price of 630c/kg at $1674 for 14 Angus cross steers weighing 266kg, also from Cape West Investments.
C & H Farms Trust snapped up a few pens of lighter steers at higher liveweight values including 612c/kg for six Angus steers weighing 273kg offered by Elgin Park Pty Ltd and 608c/kg at $1814 for 12 Angus steers tipping the scales at 298kg from the paddocks of Stoney Pastoral Company.
The final pen of steers offered also cracked 600c/kg with Richard Pollock, Nutrien Livestock, Waroona, collecting four Murray Greys weighing 214kg from SJ Mateljan to cost $1283.
The sale swung onto the heifers and appeared to shift up a gear as buyers scrambled to secure numbers.
Kevin Armstrong, Willowbank, Benger, paid the sale's $2315 top heifer price at 418c/kg on behalf of an order for the opening pen of eight Angus heifers weighing 554kg offered by Gandy Timbers.
The interstate online buyer was prepared to pay beyond the $2000 price tag for several pens of heifers, including $2114 at 462c/kg for six Angus heifers weighing 458kg trucked in by Casad Pty Ltd and to $2074 at 458c/kg for seven Murray Grey heifers averaging 453kg for one of two pens purchased from Yoralyn.
Jamie Abbs, Nutrien Livestock, Boyup Brook, added a big quality line of 20 Angus heifers weighing 410kg offered by Peter G Varischetti for $1953 at 476c/kg to a few earlier purchased steer pens as did Ben Cooper, Nutrien Livestock, Bridgetown, paying to $1930 at 484c/kg for eight Murray Grey cross heifers averaging 399kg from Catalano Farms, with both agents representing Eastern Wheatbelt lotfeeders.
Mr Talbot dominated the heifer lineup and finished with 15 pens costing to $1815 per head at 500c/kg for five Angus heifers averaging 377kg offered by BJ & CF Prowse and 604c/kg liveweight for 14 Angus heifers weighing 237kg from Southampton Grazing to cost $1441.
Ben Kealy, Nutrien Livestock, Williams, secured a few lighter pens of heifers and paid the sale's 628c/kg top liveweight price for seven Angus weighing 198kg from the Stoney Pastoral draft to cost $1243 while Geoff Willis paid the next highest price of 618c/kg at $1426 for 13 Angus cross heifers weighing 231kg offered by Cape West Investments.
The sale finished off with a run of cows and calves with all bar one pen coming from the paddocks of Margaret River Rural Traders.
Prices topped at $3150 twice for heavier large frame Angus cows and older Angus calves at foot, first paid by Mr Armstrong for a cow running with Angus and Blonde d'Aquitaine bulls with a steer calf at foot and the following cow with same mating details and heifer calf at foot went to the interstate buyer online.
Mr Pollock added eight cow/calf units to his account for an Uduc buyer paying to $2550.
What the agent said:
NUTRIEN Livestock auctioneer and Capel agent Chris Waddingham said it has been a very successful June Special store cattle sale program for Nutrien Livestock at Boyanup.
"AuctionsPlus were particularly strong at the beef sale with 386 bids online," Mr Waddingham said.
"Values far exceeded expectations from beginning to end at both the dairy and beef store cattle June sales.
"We have seen unprecedented values achieved reflecting the extremely strong cattle market in Western Australia."
- Beef steers (liveweight): 432-654c/kg ($1073-$2349)
- Beef heifers (liveweight): 414-628c/kg ($1169-$2315)
- Cows & calves (appraisal): $2400-$3150