RIGHT NOTE: Sullivan Livestock auctioneer James Cochrane ready for the first cattle sale of the year at the Gympie Saleyards.
RIGHT NOTE: Sullivan Livestock auctioneer James Cochrane ready for the first cattle sale of the year at the Gympie Saleyards. Patrick Woods

Auctioneer optimistic as 2015 starts solidly

THE first Gympie cattle sale of the New Year will take place at the Gympie Saleyards today, and livestock agent and auctioneer Dan Sullivan is quietly optimistic.

He expects more than 700 cattle to be trucked in to the yards and said prices should be up, thanks to decent rainfall over the past few weeks.

He said he had answered the "greatest number" of buyer inquires in a long time, and there will be many producers at the store sale, ready to re-stock herds.

"We've started off on the right note," Mr Sullivan said.

"It's the right time of year for rain and to make the most of feed."

That optimism is a sign of hope for many producers, especially after last year recorded what was possibly one of the driest spells throughout the region.

Mr Sullivan said for the last two years rain had not fallen when it was needed during the warmer months.

Even he sold many of his own cattle, reducing his herd significantly.

He said cattle prices in 2014 were some of the worst he had seen.

"In the 1970s, the cattle prices were the lowest recorded and I think they could have been worse (last year)," Mr Sullivan said.

Mr Sullivan predicted the market for 2015 would be stronger, as long as the rain continued in to winter.

Cattleman John Warren, of Coles Creek, will be selling 45 heifers today and he too is more hopeful for the year ahead.

He said last year was a struggle.

"I'm more optimistic; you'd have to be with the weather," Mr Warren said.

"I hope this year's a better year, for weather and prices."

On Wednesday , the year's first pig and calf sale will be held.

Mr Sullivan said he was not expecting big numbers at that particular sale because many producers would keep young stock while there was feed.

The Gympie Meatworks and liveweight store sale on January 19 should see more bookings and some good prices. Today's store sale will begin at 9am.