Olivia Loadsman, 4, at the Sarina cattle sale.
Olivia Loadsman, 4, at the Sarina cattle sale. Zizi Averill

Auction sells steers at a steal

DESPITE an abundance of feed and water, Mackay region graziers are not seeing green at the Sarina cattle sales.

Landmark Mackay livestock agent Paul Cooper said while coastal graziers had experienced "one of their best seasons" the rest of the state had been struggling.

Mr Cooper said widespread drought conditions outside the region had kept auction prices low at Tuesday's cattle sales.

"It's hard for them to comprehend why they're selling so badly when we've had so much green feed," he said.

"People have expectations a little higher because our season is so good"

But with about 70 per cent of the state in drought, he said "that leaves only 30 per cent of the state with the capacity to take on stock".

 

Mr Cooper said the depressed cattle market was affecting most auctions with similar prices in Charter Towers, Rockhampton and in Sarina.

According to many at the Sarina cattle sale, it was a buyers' market as 372 head of cattle went under the hammer.

With 184 steer up for auction, Mr Cooper said prices ranged between $2.30 - $2.60 a kg.

Koumala resident Kevin Malone sold his 39 steers at the Sarina auction, but he admitted "it's not a sellers market".

Mr Malone said selling them at an average of $530 a head, it equated to about $2.50 a kg.

But he added, based off the Rockhampton sale prices, it could have been worse.

Landmark Rockhampton said average steers sold from between $2.01 to $2.53 per kg.

Mackay resident Ross Gall said the low prices were "good for buyers, not for sellers".

For Koumala resident Owen Smith, the relatively low prices allowed him to snatch up four steer cheaply.

 

Koumala resident Owen Smith after buying four steer at the Sarina cattle sales.
Koumala resident Owen Smith after buying four steer at the Sarina cattle sales. Ebony Jordan

"The prices are a little down today," Mr Smith said.

He admitted they weren't quality cattle, he said he planned on "fattening them up to sell again".

It may have been their first time at the Sarina cattle sales, but Tony Schmits and Jos Schmits said they were cautious about selling their cattle in the current market.

 

Tony Schmits and Jos Schmits said it was their first time at the Sarina cattle sales.
Tony Schmits and Jos Schmits said it was their first time at the Sarina cattle sales. Ebony Jordan

Three years ago Mr and Ms Schmits started up their cattle property in Merrilock.

Mr Schmit said they were "just getting into it", with 150 head of cattle.

While he said they were preparing to sell, after seeing the auction price, he said: "It's a little bit low for me".

Sarina Prime And Store Sale Market Report

Supplied by Landmark Mackay

Landmark Mackay yarded 184 steers, 153 heifers, 23 cows and 12 cows & calves for a total of 372 head.

SALE QUOTES

Steers

No. 8's $510 - $680

No. 9's $200 - $630

Heifers

No. 8's $450 - $735

No. 9's $200 - $420

Cows & Calves

$970

Vendor Highlights

Gravino & Partners sold 19 Droughtmaster No.9 heifers to the top of $420, to average $396

Peoples Pty Ltd offered 12 Droughtmaster No.9 steers for $590 and 9 Droughtmaster No.9 heifers for $365

John Nicholas sold 14 Droughtmaster No.8 heifers to the top of $735

Terry LeGarde offered 20 No.9 Brangus steers to the top of $655, to averaged $550

Next Sales: Sarina Prime & Store Sale Tuesday, July 16, 2019