Riverina Hereford bull sets new Australian record, fetching $160,000 at Book Book sale | Ralph-Lauren

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An Australian Poll Hereford bull smashed a 35-year sales record yesterday when it fetched $160,000 at a New South Wales auction.

Injemira Beef Genetics fetched the record price at its 50th annual production sale at Book Book, south-east of Wagga Wagga, New South Wales.

The 17-month-old sire was purchased by a group of three buyers, genetics company ABS Australia, Vielun Pastoral Company and Ardno Herefords from Mount Gambier.

The last Australian sale record for a Hereford bull was $120,000.

Stud principal Marc Greening said the bull stood out in the paddock and on paper.

“From low-birth to high growth … high muscle and big marbling, it was just so pleasing to go out in the paddock and see a bull that was backed up by that data.”

The bull has been nominated for the Herefords Australia Super Sires program for 2021.

Grass-fed beef ‘premium’

Mr Greening said Herefords were riding high on renewed demand for premium grass-fed product.

“Herefords have copped a bit of a kicking over the years but certainly the tide is turning as far as I’m concerned,” he said.

“You can see in the industry and consumer sentiment … it’s probably taking a little bit away from the organic demand.”

Cattle prices to remain high

ANZ Bank’s latest Agri Commodity Report shows while cattle prices will likely fall from current record highs in coming months, a “perfect storm” of factors meant they were likely to stay well above the long-term average.

The national herd rebuilding phase is predicted to continue well into 2021, limiting the number of cattle on the market.

“Even if prices came down 30 per cent from current record levels, that would still mean that the benchmark Eastern Young Cattle Indicator (EYCI) was at around 620 cents per kilogram, a peak last seen in mid-2016 to mid-2017,” ANZ’s head of institutional food, beverage and agribusiness, Ian Hanrahan said.

But he urged cattle producers to make sure their profit forecasts factored in any possible changes in prices and interest rates.

“Assuming there’s not another drought, major export shock or other black swan event, every major group along the beef supply chain will need to rethink their strategy going forward,” Mr Hanrahan said.

Mr Greening, from Injemira Beef Genetics said they were thankful for the high prices fetched.

“Coming out of the dry period and in this rebuilding phase, it’s certainly rewarding for a lot of people who are getting returns for a hard slog over the last four or five years,” he said.

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