Colac’s black magic

Colac’s black magic


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It was a sale unlike any other during this year’s Victorian weaner series. When the Fucheng Group began bidding on Angus heifers on Monday, they did not stop until they had acquired all but a select few for prices competitive with week-ago steer results.

CHINA’S Fucheng Group swooped in on the Colac heifer weaner sale on Monday to purchase the majority of the 1941 female yarding, and in the process knocking regular players out of the market.

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Ray White, Sydney livestock agent Tim Grenda had an unexpected and dramatic influence on the sale’s outcome after he purchased 715 heifers in total.

This included a substantial run of medium weight Angus steers which averaged $980 per head, or 309cents per kilogram, on behalf of Fucheng Group’s Mr Goaqi Li.

The heifers were being purchased for the company’s property Woodlands, near Westmar, Queensland, following the acquisition which was finalised in November last year.

The consignment breakdown included 139 light unweighed calves, estimated between 220-280kg, which av $793 per head and 576 heifers, 290-350kg, av $980, or 309c/kg.

Mr Li, along with his personal assistant Eva Xia, have acquired about 1500 female weaners from Victorian and NSW markets since winter last year, due to diminishing cattle numbers in the north.

Agent Mr Grenda said the targeted specifications were 300-350kg to a budget of 300c/kg, however that was “blown out a fair bit” with some pens fetching as high as 350c/kg.

The Fucheng Group purchased two historic farms, covering 2200 hectares, near Bendigo in January 2015, with settlement taking place in July last year.

Buy-up: Fucheng Group's Goaqi Li, Cassie White, agent Tim Grenda and Eva Xia purchased 715 head of Angus heifers for a recently purchased Queensland property.

Buy-up: Fucheng Group's Goaqi Li, Cassie White, agent Tim Grenda and Eva Xia purchased 715 head of Angus heifers for a recently purchased Queensland property.

Charles Stewart and Co livestock agent Peter McConachy said Fucheng had an “outstanding” influence on the sale of Angus weaners.

“To have a buyer come in a buy that amount out of the sale is a big task and we found that a tremendous influence on the strong results for the Angus breeders,” Mr McConachy said.

“It is a pity they didn’t buy Hereford, black baldies or other breeds.”

Of the 47 pens of Angus weaner heifers offered between 280 and 390kg, 33 pens were purchased for the Fucheng Group.

Colac weaner sale, 18 January

The influence of Mr Grenda’s buying was so dramatic, it was analysed that he lifted the buying average by $300 per head, with the light unweighed cattle estimated to be 310-360c/kg.

The first pen of Angus weaner cattle ended a run of PTIC cows and went fairly unnoticed.

This pen of of 21 Angus weaners, 326kg, sold to $890, paid by HF Richardson agent Alistair Nelson.

However, the following pen, offered by Murray Howard, won the best presented pen at the sale and appeared as the first official run of weaner cattle and spurred the bidding spree of Mr Grenda.

The 14 Angus heifers weighed 399kilograms and peaked at $1190, or 298c/kg.

Mr Howard sold two of three pens to the Fucheng Group to av $1155, or 301c/kg. His heifers were praised as outstanding cattle and backed-up his best presented win in the steer sale last week. 

Fucheng Group’s main competitor was HFR’s Alistair Nelson who was a marathon bidder throughout the sale, securing 36 PTIC females av $1347, 88 Angus heifer weaners av $1003 and 14 Black Baldies av $870.

I've never seen an order like this, where someone can come in and bid on every pen of black cattle is unheard of. - Charles Stewart and Company director Jamie McConachy

Garrisons Feedlot’s Robert Woodward, Teys livestock buyer Nathan Burey, Hardwicks, Keringa Angus’ Trent Walker, Lameroo, SA, and stock and station agent John O'Brien rarely got a bid in for the black cattle but were active in the calves and mixed breeds. 

Alex Scott & Staff livestock buyer Neil Darby was forced to change tactics and target the black baldy and Euro cattle due to the staunch competition for Angus cattle.

The 339 joined cattle offering sold from $1100-$1500.

This included two herd dispersals which attracted strong competition including Joe and Mick Flynn, Winchelsea who sold 122 Angus cows, pregnancy tested in calf to Murdeduke bulls, 2007 to 2012 drops, which sold to $1840, and av $1517 per head.

Elders, Euroa purchased the top two pens of the Flynn’s offering to av $1820/hd.

Due to selling his Torquay property, Ray Perry sold 67 Angus cows, PTIC to Murdeduke bulls, to $1560, av $1544.

Best pen award: Murray Howard with HFR's Carl Fish and sons Tom and Luke.

Best pen award: Murray Howard with HFR's Carl Fish and sons Tom and Luke.

In the unjoined calves offering - estimated 200-260kg - most pens sold from $650 to $750, with the top pen bound for Woodlands, Qld.

The McDonald family, Kingoonya, Birregurra, topped the Hereford run with a pen of 10 heifers, February/March drop, Wolbull blood which sold to $815, bought by Garrisons Feedlot.

They offered 28 in total for an av $683.

Hereford weaner heifer prices floated between $600-$750, while Black Baldies peaked at $920, av $814 and Murray Greys to $725, av $643.​

The 52 cows and calves sold from $1000-$1500, and peaked at $1810, for 7 Angus cows with calf at foot, redepastured to an Angus bulls to calve in July, paid by William Richardson, HFR, Geelong.

Coinciding with his 30th wedding anniversary to Narelle Douglas, Charles Stewart Dove livestock manager Phil Douglas, Colac, said the sale was excitingly strong for black weaner heifers.

“For such a tough season all cattle were presented remarkably well,” Mr Douglas said.

“One local agent purchased a very good line of Angus cows to replace a line of fattened steers and will still pocket $100 per head.”

He said with a large number of herd dispersals as well as live export orders taking numbers out of the district, there were questions as to where breeding females would come from going forward.

“There are opportunities for anyone prepared to take the punt,” he said.

Alan Shalley offered the sale's first pen, 17 PTIC Angus cows, which sold to $1400.

Alan Shalley offered the sale's first pen, 17 PTIC Angus cows, which sold to $1400.

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