The widespread availability of feed and good prices at saleyards and meatworks have set the stage for a strong studstock selling season in Queensland.
Vendor and agent confidence is high ahead of the start of bull sales in southern and central parts from the end of this month, with agents predicting increased averages and clearance rates in line with recent sales south of the border.
Nutrien Ag Solutions southern divisional livestock sales coordinator Colby Ede said autumn selling in Queensland had set the tone.
The likes of Jim and Jackie Wedge's Ascot Autumn Bull Sale saw their entire run of 57 Angus and Charloais bulls sell in little more than an hour for a top of $28,000.
While the recent Gympie Brahman Female Sale saw the average increase by $3503 to $7784 and a top price of $32,000 courtesy of a four-way bidding war for Stuart and Lynda Vollmerhausen's Rockstar Fancy Rocket 113 (IVF) (PS).
"I definitely think the tone is set and we will see a strong selling season for all breeds across Queensland, and I believe right through to the end [of the season]," Mr Ede said.
"Confidence is still very strong on the back of the commercial market - no doubt our season has been very strong - and the lower breeder numbers has created that strength in the market."
Restockers looking to maximise the potential of their heifer or cow purchases could boost competition, with agents reporting a reduced offering across Queensland and NSW sales.
"There's probably less bull numbers and breeding numbers around due to the drought, so the lots that studs have got to offer this year are the top end of their herd," Mr Ede said.
"The appetite for top-end genetics across the board has gotten stronger for commercial and seedstock needs."
Agents are also reporting an increased number of paddock sales, as producers take advantage of saleyards and meatworks prices to offload old sires.
With many producers enjoying the best season they've had in several years and the industry firmly entering a herd rebuilding phase, agents in central Queensland feel paddock sales are being driven by commercial buyers not wanting to wait until the national sales later in the year.
Above average prices for paddock bulls are also being achieved, with some producers paying up to $15,000 per bull, while Gipsy Plains Brahman stud purchased Y3K Billionaire 9002 (PP) back in March in a private sale worth $90,000.
And when eyes aren't on the cattle market, the rain forecast will be the focus, with agents agreeing that early-spring storms could be a game-changer for prices.