BUYERS clapped and a few expletives, murmured in disbelief, could be heard as a pen of heifers made an all-time auction record at Wagga.
It is no secret that the cattle market is red hot but even the most experienced industry stalwarts were shocked when a pen of 20 heifers made $2172 per head at Wagga.
The returns were much more than anyone had predicted.
Vendors Bruce and Ted Aston of “Redlands”, Thuddungra were in disbelief when the selling agents informed them of the per head price of $2172.71.
Ted said the record price was probably more due to luck than design.
Initially he planned to sell the heifers, based on Cudgel Creek bloodlines, earlier but couldn’t get the truck into the ramp due to the wet and boggy conditions.
“I did sell 15 head earlier on and we received 334c/kg,” he said.
“As luck would have it the market was dearer this week,” he said.
To achieve that result the heifers commanded a whopping 389.2c/kg after a bidding war broke out at the Wagga Livestock Marketing Centre.
The Angus heifers were secured by processing company Thomas Foods International and were destined for South Australia.
Auctioneer Will Stoddart of Elders Wagga took the winning bid on the heifers which weighed in at 558.3 kilograms and were described as being excellent quality.
Fellow Elders Wagga auctioneer and livestock agent Joe Wilks said nobody had ever seen anything like this before.
He said it was known that the cattle market was doing well but he couldn’t have predicted the heifers would make that much.
The escalating market certainly wasn’t isolated to heifers.
Earlier in the day livestock agents H Francis and Co sold a standout pen of 20 Angus steers weighing 194 kilograms for 397c/kg.
“These are unprecedented times the market is just red hot and it keeps demonstrating that Wagga has the capacity to return exceptional prices for vendors,” said Wagga Livestock Marketing Centre chief executive officer Paul Martin.
Mr Martin – who has been at the centre for more than 10 years – said he had never seen anything like this before.
And despite widespread talk about Australia’s dangerously low cattle numbers he said the throughput at Wagga hadn’t seemed to let up.
Vendors sold 3700 head at the Monday sale.
Full market reports will follow in The Rural.
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