Mayura Wagyu's third annual high performance production sale reached some spectacular heights last Thursday near Millicent with 45 lots averaging an incredible $55,011 - believed to be a national all-breeds record.
The result affirmed it as one of the world's leading Wagyu seedstock suppliers with 120 online bidders and another 20 live on site.
Cattle and genetic packages sold across Australia and internationally with 22 females averaging $64,591; 13 bulls averaging $44,577 and nine semen lots (each comprising two straws) averaging $51,000 per package.
The sole embryo lot made $15,000.
A new Australian record of $122,500 was reached for a full blood Wagyu bull and the sale's $245,000 top price female was second only to the $280,000 paid for a Mayura heifer in 2019.
At the time that was the most expensive bovine female sold in Australia.
Two unjoined heifers were the star performers - the sale topper at lot 6, Mayura R1356, and lot 5, Mayura R0286, which made $220,000.
Both were high marbling daughters of the number one ranked carcase bull, Mayura Itoshigenami Junior, which has had an enormous influence on the breed.
Mayura R1356 impressed with its tremendous shape and capacity and also had the highest marble score estimated breeding values in the catalogue at 3.7- easily putting it in the top 1 per cent of the breed.
The late September 2020-drop also had Breedplan figures in the top 5pc for the self-replacing and FBTi and F1Ti indexes.
The previous lot, Mayura R0286, also had a high marble score at 3 and a phenomenal rib eye area of +9.7.
These two females sold to Yulong Investments, Mangalore, Vic, who also outlaid $160,000 for a half-sister in Mayura's 2021's sale.
Four other heifers in the offering were bought by international buyers from the United States, Canada and United Kingdom but will remain in Australia to be flushed to produce embryos for export.
Bull prices reached unchartered territory with lot 25, Mayura Renegade R0152, making $122,500.
Mayura breeder Scott de Bruin said there had been considerable interest in the AI-bred son of LMR Toshiro and bred from Mayura L0914.
"He was such a tank and he looks more like an Angus from the showring than a Wagyu bull," he said.
At 22 months of age, Renegade weighed 858kg - about 200kg heavier than any other bull in the same drop.
"Many of our clients have focused on carcase traits like marbling but they also need to have the ability to breed replacement females, he excels for these maternal traits too," he said.
Renegade's purchaser was Cameron Hewitt, Hewitt Pastoral Enterprises, Taroom, Qld, who breed bulls from an elite herd for their several large commercial herds in far north Qld.
"We have invested a lot in Mayura genetics, their lead bulls in the past have been sons of Itoshigenami Junior, which we have used a fair bit of so Renegade is a great outcross for us," he said.
"For a bull to be 800kg-plus at 22 months is good in any breed.
"With that early growth we will use him to put some punch back into our F2s, which can lose some growth and also over our high marbling cows ."
Mr Hewitt said they had also had strong enquiry for semen sales in their new sire.
Hewitt Pastoral - which began infusing Wagyu cattle into their herd in 2016 - also bought the previous national record breaker. In 2017 they secured Mayura L0010 for $105,000.
"Mayura has been breeding for generations with performance data and the data collected at the slaughterhouse feeds back to their breeding operation- this gives us peace of mind about buying their genetics," Mr Hewitt said.
Semen lots also sold well, just shy of last year's record $70,000 price, with two straws from emerging super sire Mayura Notorious making $62,500.
They are heading to the US after being bought by Heartland Hill Farms, Boston, Massachusetts.
Mr de Bruin was "ecstatic" to achieve their best sale average despite it being their largest offering.
"It is very humbling to have so much support from Australian breeders and the international Wagyu community," he said.
"We felt they were the best offering we had put together for their genetic potential but also phenotypically the structure and conformation of the cattle was also the best we have had."
He said it had been a "long road" since his late father Adrian imported the first full-blood Wagyu cattle into Australia in 1998.
They have worked very hard breeding cattle that perform with extensive performance recording from birth to the chiller, including more than 11,000 carcase records.
"We expect a lot of our cattle - our motto is excellence without compromise and we take this very seriously," he said.
Mr de Bruin said their vertically integrated business, including on-farm feedlot and branded beef, had been crucial to their success.
"Globally the Mayura brand is one of Australia's most luxury beef breeds, in Asia it is known as the Louis Vutton of beef," he said.
"People know they can come to us and know the cattle will perform for them."
Auctioneer Harvey Weyman-Jones, from Grant Daniel & Long, Dalby, had expected strong prices but said it was the first time in his career that he had got emotional reading out a sale average.
"We felt it was going to be the best sale out of the three (they have had) because the last two were affected by COVID and no one could inspect the cattle," he said.
"This was the first time we were able to be on-site to conduct the auction and having an audience always adds to the excitement and the overall result."
Mr Weyman-Jones said demand in the Wagyu breed had rebounded very strongly after a "drop off" in 2020 and 2021 when drought and high grain prices dampened interest.
"The commercial market has come back very strongly for Wagyu and Wagyu cross cattle," he said.
"Mayura is the best Wagyu stud in Australia and probably (the best) outside of Japan, if you are interested in breeding the best Wagyu you have to go to the best place to buy them."
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