Remote bidding jumps as spring nears

Online bidding works with physical market to boost buyer pool

Coronavirus
BIDDING: At WVLX Mortlake, Outcross Victorian operations manager, Peter Brooker, placed 680 bids online at the sale buying 283 head.

BIDDING: At WVLX Mortlake, Outcross Victorian operations manager, Peter Brooker, placed 680 bids online at the sale buying 283 head.

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As spring nears livestock marketing is taking on a slightly different look.

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With a quarter of all the lots offered at recent store cattle sales attracting online bidding, the option is likely to play similar role at this year's spring and weaner sales.

While restrictions in regional Victoria have eased with the introduction of the third step for reopening, restrictions still exist for interstate travel and the wearing of face masks.

There is also some continued unease among buyers about attending physical sales.

Elders southern zone livestock manager - Victoria and Riverina, Matt Tinkler, said forecasts of numbers for the traditional spring weaner sales were likely to be slightly down.

"We'll get our traditional lines, but we sold a lot more cattle through the June, July and August period than we traditionally do that would normally be taken into spring," he said.

"In 2016 a lot of people missed the rise in the cattle market that year.

"People are different this time, saying 'market's good, season's good and cattle have good weights, let's take some of this money'," he said.

He said that had taken a few of the spring drop weaners that would normally be sold as yearlings out of the system.

Numbers from now would be driven by the season, he said.

"Normally you would find lighter weight cattle 250-300 kilos, but you'd be hard pressed at the moment to see anywhere that needs to sell those types, unless the price is exceptionally good," he said.

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Numbers from now would be driven by the season, he said.

"Normally you would find lighter weight cattle 250-300 kilos, but you'd be hard pressed at the moment to see anywhere that needs to sell those types, unless the price is exceptionally good," he said.

It was a 'grass option' environment - get the cattle to a weight and a dollar per head and sell.

He said that if the season and prices continued to hold, some autumn-drop calves, that had done well, could potentially be marketed in November-December - particularly from the north of Victoria.

"Especially if we see a continuation of the season in the north - through NSW," he said..

Hamilton-based agent, Lanyons principal, Warren Clark, said the season in the region had been "as good as we'll ever get".

There was grass "everywhere and when the sun shines it will explode", he said.

He said the next planned sale in October, would be the first store sale since the January weaner sales due to yard construction works.

The sale was expected to feature around 2000 cattle - under the roof.

He said numbers for the January weaner sales might be slightly lower, but quality and weight would be much higher on the season.

He said for the first time the sale in October would be conducted online through AuctionsPlus.

"It just opens up so many more doors. We rely on support from the south-east of SA and restrictions are unlikely to be much changed by October," he said.

Close to 25 per cent of the sale lots at Mortlake and Ballarat store sales attracted online bidding and purchases totaling nearly $1 million.

At Mortlake, Outcross Victorian operations manager, Peter Brooker, placed 680 bids online at the sale where 3513 cattle were penned.

Mr Brooker said Outcross and online platform AuctionsPlus had formed a partnership to deliver added buying strength to physical sales during the coronavirus and in the future.

He made bids on 99 lots on behalf of seven active bidders who purchased 23 lots, totaling 283 head.

Mr Brooker said there were 451 registered individuals logging on to the AuctionsPlus site on sale day and 1462 catalogue views.

"Online buyers can view the catalogue before the sale and identify they type of cattle they want and what's available at the sale," he said.

He said the partnership with AuctionsPlus would extend into the south west Victorian weaner sales.

A record $460,000 in cattle was sold via StockLive at the September Central Victoria Livestock Exchange (CVLX) sale.

The sale drew strong online interest, with 24 per cent of the lots bid online.

Elders' Sean Simpson, Ballarat,said the growing interest in StockLive bidding for the monthly sale was driving additional value in prices.

"An additional $80-$100 per head was achieved in the sale price as a result of the additional competition from online bidders. We had 318 head sold online and almost 300 bids were taken on 109 lots," he said.

"The competitive tension created between online bidders and those on the ground at the saleyard improved the price outcome and market transparency, and this is a great outcome for everyone involved."

CVLX Operations Manager Jarrod Koch said working with the agents and StockLive ahead of the sale ensured the catalogue of lots for sale included all the vendors' pre-sale information.

"This made it easier for buyers to do their research ahead of today's sale, so they were ready to bid on selected pens," Mr Koch said.

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