The coldest day in more than 20 years brought with it the highest prices ever seen for cattle in Warrnambool.
Just when some thought the cattle market couldn’t get any dearer, demand has sent prices off the charts.
The highest price for steers was noted at 384c/kg on Friday morning and sold to Tim Netherway.
Bega dairy supplier and beef farmer John Howard had sold two pens of Angus heifers for 347c/kg which was another high price for the day.
Warrnambool Stock Agents Association president Anthony Mahony said everyone was seeing exceptionally solid sales across the board.
“It’s as good as we’ve ever seen here,” Mr Mahoney said.
“Strong sales show that the industry is strong.
“We’re expecting the July sale to be traditional for winter.”
Hail, rain and antarctic winds kept buyers and stock agents on their toes at the Warrnambool stockyards across the morning.
“It’s been a ripper,” Mr Mahoney said.
Representative buyers from across Victoria and as far as South Australia attended the June Store Cattle Sale.
Heywood Elders stock agent Allan Lahoy said in his 40 years of working with cattle, he had never seen prices so high.
“Prices have never been dearer for cattle or for beef,” he said.
“The season is so good now and there’s a shortage of cattle which creates demand.”
Former stock agent and renowned farmer Frank Hollis said the effects of the cattle shortage were being felt across Australia.
“That’s very good for producers,” Mr Hollis said.
“That makes the future look bright.”
J & J Kelly Stock Agents’ Jack Kelly said there was a large turnout.
He said while buyers came from across the state and South Australia, there was also a lot of local support.
“There was originally only meant to be 1000 head, but we ended up with 1400,” Mr Kelly said.
“Feedlot buyers were very strong, there was good support from them.”
Mr Kelly predicted cattle prices would continue to rise.
Indicative prices included:
Angus steers –
DG and MA Pevitt, 14 Angus steers, 306kg, $3.73, $1143;
Ferndale, 18 Angus steers, 313kg, $3.77, $1180;
Stonefield, eight Angus steers, 480kg, $3.40, $1632.
Angus heifers –
JB Howard, 36 Angus heifers, 309kg, $3.47, $1072.
Cows and calves –
Yanarrie, 3 Angus cows and calves; $2350. R and VG Down, four Angus cows and four Charolais calves, $2120; YellowRock, 13 Angus cows and calves