The Hereford breed has steamrolled through the 2016 spring on-property bull sales season, clearing 1286 bulls around the nation worth a thumping $9 million.
A total of 40 on-property sales were held in Victoria, Tasmania, NSW, and Queensland from June 16 to September 13.
In the break-up, 1286 horned and polled bulls were sold from the 1565 offered for a clearance of 82 per cent, average of $7008 and gross of $9.012 million.
This compares to 2015 when spring sales of 1213 bulls grossed $7.2 million to average $5970, with a clearance of 83 per cent.
Leading the charge in the sale averages was Stephen and Jodi Peake, Bowen Poll Herefords, Barraba, NSW, setting a new breed on-property record of $11,700 on July 21.
The next closest sale average of $10,024 was achieved by Andrew McKay, Merawah Poll Herefords, Boggabilla, on July 19 after an absence from the stud sale scene for several years.
Bowen also recorded the season’s top price of $70,000 paid by new clients Jeff and Robyn Holcombe, Rayleigh stud, Burren Junction, NSW, for Bowen Calibre K207.
Sired by the $90,000 Days Calibre G74, the 22-month-old bull ranked in the top five per cent of the breed for 200 to 600 day weight, mature cow weight, scrotal and eye muscle area.
Stud principal Stephen Peake said buyers attended from Alice Springs, Birdsville, Yea, and the local areas.
Mr Peake said the average price lifted more than $4000 on last year.
He said 95 per cent of bulls were bought by commercial producers, with the middle run making $5000-$8000, satisfying all clientele.
Mr Peake said the red hot bull market was being driven by the buoyant store and prime markets, seasonal conditions and industry optimism.
The second top price for the spring was $35,000 set at the Kidman Poll Hereford sale on September 6 at Dubbo.
The new record for Kidman was paid by repeat client David Lyons, Melville Poll Herefords, Vasey, Vic.
The 24-month-old Kidman Competition K223 weighed 900kg, had a 44cm scrotal circumference and was sired by Kidman Legacy D155.
In the nation’s biggest on-property offering of whiteface bulls, Ironbark Herefords, Barraba, sold 137 from 187 lots in a 73 per cent clearance on August 26.
The sale went on to top at the season’s third highest price of $32,000, average a strong $6934 and record a gross close to $1 million.
The vast majority of whiteface studs reported averages and clearances well up on last year’s spring selling season.
In Queensland, the Southern Cross sale was staged by Talbalba and Devon Court studs, and recorded strong individual averages of $7531 and $8926 respectively.
Talbalba principal Steve Reid said the sale drew strong commercial support on the top end bulls.
“There was strong interest in low birthweight heifer bulls due to the extensive herd rebuilding through heifer retention,’’ Mr Reid said.
In central NSW at Cassilis, Dalkeith principal Charlie Martin said a larger than usual number of registered buyers had resulted in an average climbing by $2300 on 2015.
Records were also broken in the commercial females with three-year-old cows and calves topping at $3850, and the 217 head averaging $2956.
Mr Martin said demand was so strong, a further 12 uncatalogued bulls were sold privately.
Peter and Juliana McArthur, Oldfield Poll Herefords, Emerald Hill, NSW, sold the most bulls ever with close to 60 to most states and territories.
Their top 20 bulls averaged $7200 and the second half sold at commercial rates of $4000 to $6000.
In the Riverina, Ian Locke, Wirruna Poll Herefords, Holbrook, said nine of the top bulls averaged $10,000 to commercial producers, indicating their “tails were up’’ in the buoyant beef market.
Mr Locke said heifer bulls averaged $5654, growth bulls $5350 and muscle bulls $4682 in a vote for higher calving ease genetics.
“We can see buyers are seeking to invest in better genetics and are clear about the economic traits they want,’’ he said.
Ian Durkin, Mountain Valley stud, Coolatai, NSW, sold bulls to NSW, Queensland and Victoria.
“It was great to see the confidence that a good season and strong cattle market has created among producers,’’ Mr Durkin said.
Curracabark stud principal James Higgins, Gloucester, NSW, said the sale drew a large, enthusiastic crowd buoyed by the strong cattle market.
“This provided spirited bidding to a record a $9055 average,’’ he said.