Beef producers will be seeking quality genetics equipped to take best advantage of good feed and high returns, as the southern weaner sales kick off in January.
Wodonga will be one of the yards to kick off the sales series, with the first sale on Wednesday, January 5, to be run by agents Corcoran Parker, Peter Ruraro Rodwells, Brian Unthank Rural and Schubert and Boers.
The sales continue on Thursday and Friday, and as of Monday, there was 10,000 headed advertised for the Wodonga weaner sales on January 5-7 and the female sale on January 13.
Corcoran Parker senior livestock agent Leigh McEvoy said it was expected buyers would be present from all the regular regions, including across NSW and into southern Queensland, Tasmania, South Australia and across Victoria.
"We anticipate we're going to have very strong demand from the north, as we always would, but they've had a very good season," Mr McEvoy said.
He expected the strong interest to continue through into the Friday when the local agents' Herefords and European-cross sale was held.
"I think everyone's very bouyant about the future of the job and everyone's expectant of good prices throughout 2022," he said.
Michael Unthank, Brian Unthank Rural Pty Ltd, Albury, NSW, said the line up of cattle would be as good, if not better than most years.
"This year most of the vendors have elected to keep calves until the January sale, where as previous years the season pinched and they've sold earlier," Mr Unthank said.
"We will see better numbers of these calves, and the bloom and weight of the calves will be reflective of the better season as well.
"They'll be 20-30 kilograms heavier than last year."
He said the numbers at Wodonga helped draw a crowd.
"There is probably enough cattle there over the week to draw in the bigger operators out of the north - the grass fatteners, feedlotters and restockers," he said.
He said confidence was strong, with more rain only expected to firm up the market further.
"We've never seen the cattle job better than it has been, and we don't see that stopping in the new year," he said.
Paull and Scollard Nutrien Albury branch manager Luke Deimel said Wodonga's Thursday offering was also shaping up as every bit as good an opportunity.
"We combined our sale this year; in a normal year we would have all our Angus cattle on one day and the other breeds on a separate day," Mr Deimel said.
He expected strong local interest and said "you could draw a 100-kilometre circle around Albury/Wodonga and it covers a fair chunk of interest".
Additionally, he said there had been good enquiry out of central and northern NSW, and southern Queensland, with feedlot and backgrounders making up the bulk of the interest.
"We're just hoping we can sustain the prices into January somewhat near where they are today," he said.
"Everyone has confidence they will have feed going in to next year, especially the northern guys."
Elders Victoria livestock manager Matthew Tinkler said confidence was high right across the agricultural industry with high commodity prices across all grades, sheep, beef, wool, grain and real estate.
"The industry has a lot of momentum at the moment... given these seasonal conditions, rain in the north, and the strong spring, everyone is very confident," Mr Tinkler said.
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