Prices soared beyond all expectation at the opening of the 2021 Mountain Calf Sales at Hinomunji with heavy steers selling up to $2390 and lighter steers making up to $1600 with buying support coming from all across the eastern states of Australia.
Record prices which were set in 2020 were toppled with the opening pen of nine Hereford steers offered by the Betts family selling for $2390 per head, beating the previous record by $680.
The steers weighed 658kg (full weight), making 363c/kg and selling to repeat buyer Don Bowman of South Gipsland.
The second pen of five steers offered by the Betts family weighed in at 551kg and sold for $2100 or 381c/kg also to Don Bowman.
The Herefords Australia champion pen award was presented to Peter Soutter (trading as PJ & SM Soutter) of Benambra for his pen of 24 Hereford steers which sold for $1770.
Mr Soutter said he was very pleased with the prices on the day as he had been anticipating a good return given that prices were strong at last year’s sale and the market had only improved since then.
“The prices are really good which is good, we’ve had a few tough years and had to buy hay and that sort of thing, so it’s put a bit of money back into the growers’ pockets again,” Mr Soutter said.
The Soutter’s pen of champion steers sold to repeat buyer Brian Kyle of SEJ Leongatha.
“Brian Kyle has been a buyer for the last four or five years, it’s really good having repeat byers because I know I must be doing something right,” Mr. Soutter said.
The Soutter family have been selling cattle at the Mountain Calf Sales for three generations and offered 74 steers at this year’s Hinomunji sale.
Graeme Fullgrabe of Sharp Fullgrabe and Co described the sale as “wonderful” and “very rewarding” with the pens of older steers selling in excess of their meat value and the younger cattle also selling exceptionally well.
“The real calves were selling at $5.20 or $5.30 a kilo, there’s nothing wrong with that, and then the little fellas, that was enormous at $6.00 and $7.00 a kilo, you wouldn’t keep them for it,” Mr Fullgrabe said.
Crossbred steers sold to a top of $2300 for a pen of nine black baldy steers offered by Jim Pendergast of Penderscourt, Benambra.
Mr Pendergast had bought the steers for $1060 at Bairnsdale calf sale in March last year when they weighed around 260kg.
The steers averaged 550kg the week before the Hinomunji sale to make an average rate of 418c/kg and sold to Don Bowman.
Jim had been planning on buying some steer calves at the sale but described the market as “extremely dear” and didn’t end up making a bid.
Hereford heifers were also in hot demand, selling for up to $1670 for a pen of 14 heifers offered by BS Dyer.
According to Mr Fullgrabe a lot of the heifers were bought by restockers to take back to the paddock as breeders.
“A lot of those breeders that are buying heifers have sold old cows for $6.00-$6.30 a kilo, it’s not a bad trade in,” Mr Fullgrabe said.
The quality of the cattle yarded on the day was considered by vendors and agents to be high, albeit a bit more mixed than in previous years but nonetheless achieved an extremely strong result.
“The sale never missed a beat right to the very end, we could have sold 3000 calves today with the amount of people that were here,” Mr Fullgrabe said.
“I don’t think there’s any better sale than the high-country sales,” Mr Pendergast said.
D Betts: 9, 658kg, 363c/kg or $2390
G & S Crisp: 18, $1780
PJ & SM Soutter: 24, $1770
RT & ME Johnston: 18, $1770
BS Dyer: 18, $1750
Ray & Max Pendergast: 14, $1740
GM & LL Troake: 6, $1620
RT & RL Gilmore: 11, $1600
RE & AM Connley: 17, $1600
K & JA Pendergast: 15, $1580
G Sinnott: 4, $1570
Macs Creek Pastoral: 13, $1560
RL Fitzgerald: 8, $1490
Pendergast Livestock Holdings: 2, $1450
Willfinn: 13, $1400
Penderscourt: 9, black baldy, 550kg, 418c/kg or $2300
AL Fitzgerald: 16, Hereford/Shorthorn, $1780
D Betts, 5, Hereford/Shorthorn, $1610
Willfinn: 10, black baldy, $1500
BS Dyer: 14, Hereford, $1670
G & S Crisp: 15, Hereford, $1640
AL Fitzgerald: 15, Hereford/Shorthorn, $1600
G Sinnott: 6, Hereford, $1520
RT & ME Johnston: 12, Hereford, $1500
GM & LL Troake: 5, Hereford, $1490
Macs Creek Pastoral: 9, Hereford, $1410
Pendergast Livestock Holdings: 7, Hereford, $1390
KW & JA Pendergast: 5, Hereford, $1340
Hereford steers sold to a new record top price of $2390 at the 2021 Hinomunji calf sale.
Pen judge Campbell Ross and Ro Koebel, Herefords Australia present Peter Soutter with the champion ribbon for best presented pen of steers.
The champion pen of steers sold for $1770.
Buying strength came from across Eastern Australia, with backgrounders, restockers, feedlotters and bullock fatteners going head to head.