There has been a major surge in the listings of Droughtmaster cattle on the online marketing platform AuctionsPlus.
In the most recent September quarter, AuctionsPlus had 163,838 head offered online, with the widespread rain and extensive flooding impacting producers' ability to muster and assess.
In the breakdown of the top four breeds through AuctionsPlus, it was the Droughtmasters topping the list, followed by Angus, Herefords, and Santa Gertrudis, for the third quarter.
While varying across breeds and categories, most of the lines for the September quarter averaged from five per cent below, to 12.9pc above the same period in 2021.
Droughtmaster steers weighing 200-280kg live weight, averaged $1751/head in the third quarter of 2022 an increase in 12.9pc higher than the same period in 2021.
Across all categories, Droughtmaster prices have fallen from the highs in the first quarter of 2022 but remain level with price levels from the same quarter in 2021.
General manager of the Droughtmaster's Australia Simon Gleeson said he was pleasantly surprised by the spread of Droughtmaster cattle across the western parts of NSW.
"There has been a strong demand and uptake for Droughtmaster cattle, particularly for the graded domestic MSA market, in light of the softening live cattle export market," Mr Gleeson said,
AuctionsPlus data has shown that numbers listed in Northern NSW have almost doubled between 2017 and 2022, accentuated by the surge of breeding cattle moving south after the drought broke in northern NSW in 2020.
The four regions of Queensland still hold the top four spots. Augathella in western Queensland was pipped at the post by Hughenden for the highest throughput town in 2022.
In the same quarter, AuctionsPlus listed Angus heifers weighing 280-330kg live weight averaged $2128/head - an increase of 8.5pc on the same period in 2021.
Overall, average prices for purebred Angus cattle have eased 5.7pc from the previous quarter, while they remain 2.8% higher than the corresponding quarter in 2021.
Angus continues to be the most represented breed across AuctionsPlus cattle sales, with a hoofprint spanning widely across Eastern Australia.
The Angus heartland is undoubtedly through the NSW Northern Tablelands, with Walcha and Armidale securing first and second highest throughput towns for the breed in 2022, while Holbrook in the NSW Riverina is another hotspot.
The last five years has seen the Angus breed spread further north into Central Queensland and further south into Southwest Victoria and Southeast SA.
Hereford PTIC heifers averaged $2442/head in the September quarter of 2022, well below the previous three quarters but 2.4pc above the corresponding quarter in 2021.
PTIC cows in comparison averaged $2396/head for the quarter - 3.3pc lower than the September quarter in 2021. The premium of PTIC heifers over PTIC cows for the last four quarters highlights the current confidence in the long-term future of the cattle market.
Hereford cattle are well represented across the eastern states of Australia.
While there are traditional hotspots around the NSW Riverina, NSW Central West and NSW Northern Tablelands, its Wantabadgery in the NSW Riverina that takes the cake with the highest throughput of Hereford cattle in 2022.
There appears to be a subtle shift from north to south for Hereford cattle between 2017 and 2022, with NSW and Southeast SA seemingly taking over from the Central West and the Northern Tablelands regions.
Santa Gertrudis steers weighing 280-330kg live weight averaged $1896/head in the third quarter of 2022, down 3.5pc from the previous quarter but 3.3pc above the same quarter in 2021.
Overall, prices for Santa Gertrudis categories have fallen an average of 15pc from the first quarter of 2022. However, they persist at levels 6.9pc higher on average than the same quarter in 2021.
Santa Gertrudis cattle offered on AuctionsPlus extend from North Queensland through to Southern NSW, with a distinct hotspot between Winton, Blackall and Augathella in Western Queensland.
Santa Gertrudis join a host of northern breeds increasing their presence south of the border into NSW.
Overall, the breed appears to have consolidated and strengthened its position in certain hotspot regions without drastically changing its broader hoofprint.
AuctionsPlus enjoyed a throughput for the past twelve months of 819,463 head from October, 2021 until 30 September 2022.
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