With increased COVID-19 Restrictions set to impact Victoria this weekend, StockLive reported an unprecedented surge in online sales in Warrnambool at the South West Victorian Livestock Exchange (SWVLX) on Friday.
SWVLX made it mandatory for particpants to wear a face mask ahead of the new requirements.
Around 100 attendees on site were supplied with masks ahead of the store sale, while a further 100 viewers watched the sale via StockLive's online bidding platform, with 15 registered buyers bidding on 40 per cent of the lots on offer.
President of the Warrnambool Stock Agents Association Anthony Mahony said it was a fantastic result.
"This is the fourth online auction we've run in partnership with StockLive and the level of participation continues to increase with every sale as buyers get more accustomed to this new emerging platform.
"In total, $285,000 of livestock was sold online today. There was significant interest from buyers across South Australia, New South Wales and of course Victoria."
Buyer Alistair Nelson, Y C Feeding, Colac said he'd opted to bid online at the SWVLX due to COVID-19 restrictions.
"I hadn't used StockLive before and to be honest, had been sceptical. Because I know the Warrnambool sale well, that made it easier recognising the names and understanding the quality of the cattle in addition to the assessor's photos. I ended up purchasing 12 pens of cattle and found it really beneficial," he said.
"At the end of the day everything StockLive and the exchanges do needs to be for the benefit of the seller and it meant myself and others could still buy even though we couldn't physically be there. It makes sales accessible, especially with the current impacts of COVID-19 on our industry. Going forward, I'll be happy to support both physical and online sales."
StockLive manager Libby Hufton said the business has seen a huge shift in participation, particularly in Victoria given the recent surge in COVID-19 cases.
"I think what we're seeing here is the industry's acceptance that Victoria's sale yard industry is going to look vastly different for some time to come," she said.
"Physical auctions are critical to the industry, but right now we see our role as increasing the number of buyers able to participate in any auction no matter where they live in Australia, creating further buyer competition for the saleyard, vendors and agents and keeping the industry viable in these uncertain times.
"We've facilitated hundreds of online auctions across Australia since March 2020 and interest keeps growing."