Angus cattle popular with buyers and sellers

Nutrien Ag Solutions cattle saleyard.

As January comes to a close, we can take a look back at the stats for weaners that were sold at the December and January weaner sales. There are a few interesting points to come out of the data, including a marked difference in prices between breeds.

For this analysis, we have used Nutrien Ag Solutions® sales data at auction between 281kgs and 420kgs, sold by Nutrien or associated agents in Victoria in December and January.  The data could be split into December and January, but in terms of average price, the differences were minimal.

Angus cattle are by far the most popular breed in Victoria. Figure 1 shows the breakdown of weaner steers sold at Victorian store sales in December and January.  Of the cattle sold, 89.5% were Angus, 6% Euro, and 4.5% Hereford.

The sale data can also be broken down into weight ranges.  The chart breaks cattle up in 20kg ranges, with a majority of cattle falling in the 301–380-kilogram liveweight range. 

In terms of price, the lack of numbers in the Euro and Hereford categories makes the numbers a bit more rubbery, but we can confirm that Angus cattle held a solid premium over other breeds.  Additionally, the lighter cattle made more in cents per kilogram, with values falling as cattle got heavier.

No surprises here, with restockers and backgrounders generally happy to pay more in cents per kilogram, as many work on dollar-per-head margins.  The lighter the cattle, the more weight can be put on, and in theory, the more dollars made.

The sweet spot for buyers appeared to be Herefords in the 341–360-kilogram range.  However, the lighter throughput might have skewed these results a little. It’s interesting to note the relatively flat curve for Euro steers, with prices staying similar in cent per kilogram despite higher weights.  The spread to Angus cattle was at its smallest at the higher weights.

Figure 3 shows the dollar-per-head rates at different weights, using the median weight for each range.  There was little difference in the total value of 361-400kg for all cattle, possibly as backgrounders lose interest at the higher weights.    

What does it mean?

The weaner sales data confirms the popularity of Angus cattle with both buyers and sellers. The discount for other breeds does make them attractive, providing they perform at a similar level of course.

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Key Points

  • Angus cattle made up nearly 90% of weaner steers sold by Nutrien Ag Solutions® agents at Auction in Victoria in December and January.
  • Angus cattle attracted a premium price, but the difference declined at higher weights.
  • Cents per kilo prices decline markedly at the heavier end.

Click on figure to expand

Click on figure to expand

Click on figure to expand

Data sources: Nutrien Ag Solutions, Mecardo

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