Meat & Livestock News

Online Cattle Market Sees Robust Start to the Year


  • Australia’s online cattle offerings surged to 17,012 head in January, marking a significant increase and the strongest start since before April 2023.
  • Medium and heavier weight steer prices rose, while lighter categories saw a mix of stable and slightly lower prices due to increased supply.
  • Processors were notably active, purchasing around 2,000 head at an average price of 350c/kg, with overall strong buyer sentiment and a 75% clearance rate.

In a remarkable start to the year, Australia’s online cattle market witnessed a significant surge in offerings, reaching 17,012 head in January. This figure nearly triples the listings, setting a strong pace not seen since the early months of 2023.

Despite the Australia Day long weekend causing a brief disruption, the market bounced back with medium and heavier weight steers experiencing price increases, while lighter categories saw varied results due to an uptick in supply.

Steer and Heifer Market Dynamics

The market for steers showed a notable preference for heavier weights, with steers over 400 kg seeing a six-fold increase in listings to 1,477 head, averaging 369c/kg. This represents a 25c/kg increase from the previous week, achieving a 72% clearance rate. Conversely, lighter steers and heifers faced a mixed market, with some categories experiencing price adjustments due to the higher volume of offerings.

Among the standout sales, 190 Angus steers from Coolah, NSW, aged 14-16 months and averaging 342 kg fetched $1500/head or 439c/kg, destined for a buyer near Gundagai, NSW. Similarly, heifers saw a doubling in offerings across the 200-400 kg categories, with lighter heifers enjoying price rises.

Breeding Females and Market Outlook

The breeding female segment showed a slight retreat in prices for PTIC and station-mated heifers, with a notable decrease in clearance rates. However, heifers and cows with calves at foot witnessed strong performance, highlighting the market’s resilience and the continued demand for quality breeding stock.

As the year progresses, the Australian online cattle market demonstrates robust activity and strong buyer sentiment, underscored by significant sales and active processor participation. The market’s dynamics reflect the agricultural sector’s adaptability and the strategic positioning of sellers to meet the diverse demands of buyers across the country.