Victorian weaner sales gross $140 million in just two weeks

Bryce Eishold
By Bryce Eishold
Updated January 21 2022 - 4:04am, first published January 19 2022 - 7:30pm
SNAPSHOT: A map shows how many weaner cattle were sold at respective saleyards in the first two weeks of 2022.

A whopping $140 million worth of cattle passed through Victorian saleyards in the first two weeks of January during the southern weaner sales series.

Analysis by Stock & Land reveals almost 62,000 cattle were sold at nine saleyards in the first two weeks of the year, equating to $139,766,131 worth of sales in just 10 days.

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The Northern Victoria Livestock Exchange at Wodonga topped the list for the most amount of cattle sold and highest gross across its four sales, with 15,331 head sold or more than $36 million in sales.

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Hamilton Regional Livestock Exchange followed suit with 13,022 cattle sold across four markets, equating to $29 million in gross sales.

In comparison, 42,230 cattle were sold in Victoria in 2021 during the same series across eight saleyards (excluding Euroa), while the gross figure this year was $85 million up on last year's total gross figure of cattle sold in the state at $65 million.

Elders Riverina livestock manager Matt Tinkler said northern restocking orders carried out by commission buyers and agents underpinned the southern weaner sales.

"The situation is that there is a lot of grass and the reality is, if you're not in the market trying to buy cattle now, I don't know where you will find cattle with weight for a little while," Mr Tinkler said.

"It's a supply and demand issue and we have seen the price go to a level that has been justified because of the rates people are selling heavy cattle in the last four months.

"There is an uncertainty about what that next trade looks like and we won't know where that is until mid-winter or early spring."

The Wodonga saleyard processed nearly 7000 more cattle at the same sales compared to 2021, while Hamilton sold 2584 more cattle compared to a year ago.

Mortlake's Western Victoria Livestock Exchange recorded the single-biggest yarding with 7562 cattle sold at the complex last Thursday, or $16.8 million in sales.

That meant $3 million worth of cattle were sold each hour or $50,000 worth of weaners every minute.

It was also the first time the northern and western Victorian weaner sales had been split over two weeks, as opposed to the first week of January in previous years.

Online sales platform AuctionsPlus, which operated at Hamilton, Casterton, Mortlake, Wangaratta and Yea, facilitated the purchase of 3603 cattle.

The largest purchase of cattle online at any sale during the two-week period was at Mortlake's weaner sale last Thursday where 1045 cattle were sold to three different NSW buyers and one in Victoria.

It meant 13 per cent of all cattle sold at Mortlake's 7500-head sale was bought by online bidders.

-Additional reporting Annabelle Cleeland

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Victorian weaner sales gross $140 million in just two weeks
Bryce Eishold

Bryce Eishold

Journalist

Bryce is an agricultural journalist for Australian Community Media's Stock & Land. He covers all aspects of ag from markets to politics and everything in between. Bryce is also the president of the Rural Press Club of Victoria. Email bryce.eishold@stockandland.com.au.

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