Dairy demand easing back dampens bidding

Stern Angus co-owner Rob Fraser likes what he sees at the stud’s on-farm yearling sale. PHOTO:...
Stern Angus co-owner Rob Fraser likes what he sees at the stud’s on-farm yearling sale. PHOTO: TIM CRONSHAW
Yearling bull sales produced several highlights in a season which did not come up all trumps for South Island studs.

Stern Angus led the field with an auction high of $18,000 and tied second with Kakahu Angus on $11,000, with other Stern yearlings making $10,500 and $10,000 to match Te Mania Angus’ top bid.

Lower dairy interest, however, took some of the heat out of bidding across the catalogues.

PGG Wrightson head auctioneer John McKone said there were overall strong sales to commercial beef farmers, but dairy support had been a bit ‘‘underwhelming’’ and back on previous years.

‘‘It finished off OK after being a bit patchy. The studs that had good heifer mating programmes with estimated breeding values (EBV) to support yearling matings enjoyed good support.’’

Mr McKone said Sterns’ nationwide-high for the breed stood out.

‘‘The top price for an Angus bull in New Zealand for spring sales was $18,000 for tag 100 at Stern. This is also a record price for a yearling bull for Stern. The bull was a striking individual with excellent feet, length and body shape and an EBV balance with no weaknesses.’’

He said Kakahu’s full clearance for more than 50 bulls was a good endorsement of their performance-driven catalogue.

Te Mania, Woodbank Angus and Sudeley Angus also had good sales with prices up to $10,000, he said.

Mr McKone said farmers wanted yearlings for calving ease and low birth options, with an added emphasis on better carcass traits.

He said some sales did generate dairy-buying interest such as Matariki Herefords in its combined sale with Woodbank and Orari Gorge and they enjoyed good clearances.

‘‘As a general observation the market has been very good in some places, but a little subdued overall.’’

Online bidding is picking up via the Bidr platform as buyers get more comfortable with buying remotely.

Mr McKone said Covid-19 lockdowns had helped generate online interest in on-farm auctions, and in the genetic business overall.

- By Tim Cronshaw

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