Positive outlook for bull sales

Victorian cattle studs feeling confident as bull sales begin

SOLD: Glendan Park stud principal Alvio Trovatello with last year's top-priced buyer John Pepper, Pepper Partnership, Tahara.

SOLD: Glendan Park stud principal Alvio Trovatello with last year's top-priced buyer John Pepper, Pepper Partnership, Tahara.


Agents and principals quietly confident as stud sales ramp up.


The mood is quietly optimistic as agents and studs prepare for their upcoming bull sales.

Elders livestock manager Ross Milne said the success of Yarram Park's sale on Monday, with the average price more than $5000 on last year and almost total clearance, was a good indicator of things to come.

"Our expectations are that sales will be up on last year's averages, on the back of very strong cattle prices and a good season," he said.

"There's certainly a lot of things working in our favour going into the selling season, that's for sure."

He was also expecting good clearance rates.

"I think with the good season and the good spring there's been good retention of heifers and cows," he said.

"We're expecting the majority of the clearances to be very, very good."

Angus and Herefords remained the dominant breed but there was also demand for terminal sires in Limousins and Charolais, he said.

"The expectations are that they'll certainly see a fairly good price for the articles they're producing," he said.

"It's exciting times in the beef industry, that's for sure."

Glendan Park stud principal Alvio Trovatello will have 42 Herefords and Poll Herefords offered at his sale later this month.

While it was difficult to put a figure on prices, he was quietly optimistic that prices from the recent weaner sales would have left producers in a good position to buy.

He had also taken note of the good results at Yarram Park.

"I thought buyers were prepared to pay for the bulls they liked," he said.

"Commercial buyers that would normally spend $8000 to $12000 were spending $18000 to $20000 odd on bulls.

"Calf prices are probably $600 to $700 up on last year - you put that over a few hundred calves, you soon could invest back in your program."

He said his only concern was that cow numbers may be down slightly, meaning producers may not require the same number of bulls, but overall he was feeling positive.

"It's good to see the industry's where it is and and people are getting rewarded for better cattle and better genetics and better calves in the calf sales," he said.

"Hopefully it's rewarded everyone and the effects flow on right through the supply chain."

Nutrien agent Andrew Sloan said the combination of a good season and high livestock prices meant the stars were aligning.

A number of studs were offering additional bulls for sale and he expected the quality to be very high.

"The studs that are offering bulls have made a pretty big effort over the past few years of high prices to really improve the genetics and their performance figures and so forth," he said.

"We're getting some very, very good bulls coming through the system now and that's going to be at the forefront this year.

"It's a great opportunity, the bulls genetically and performance-wise have probably been their best in a number of years."

Banquet Angus stud principal Stephen Branson will offer at least 115 bulls at his sale.

He said Banquet's averages had been increasing year on year already, but the fact that agriculture had performed well in many sectors over the past 12 months was also likely to have a positive impact.

"I know that the cow numbers were decimated, but there is a lot of rebuilding going on," he said.

"Certainly there is a lot of people retaining more heifers this year, joining more heifers... it is very difficult to find heifers to buy.

"Don't worry about paying for them, you just can't find them."

It was worth considering how many calves had to be sold in order to buy a bull, he said, as it put the price into context.

"When you start to see a result like Yarram Park, you've got to appreciate the guys that bought an average priced bull there probably spent less calves on that bull than they have before," he said.

"One of our clients, he would have sold three or four hundred calves this year.

"His steer calves averaged $740 than 12 months before and his heifer calves was something over $750 more than the 12 months before.

"That gives you a fair bit more firepower."


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