Rain halves Longreach sale

AACo postpones sale of next tranche of Barkly cattle


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This week's rain is expected to intensify interest in the Australian Green Properties cattle sale in Longreach this week, following the 6000 head offering by AACo last week. Picture - Steve Trask.

This week's rain is expected to intensify interest in the Australian Green Properties cattle sale in Longreach this week, following the 6000 head offering by AACo last week. Picture - Steve Trask.

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The sale at Longreach of 2500 head of young cattle from Australian Green Properties in the Northern Territory is scheduled to go ahead this Friday despite forecast rain.

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The sale at Longreach of 2500 head of young cattle from Australian Green Properties in the Northern Territory is scheduled to go ahead this Friday despite forecast rain.

Thanks to the rain depression resulting from ex-tropical cyclone Trevor, AACo has withdrawn its 2000 head of composite cattle from its Barkly Tableland properties.

Landmark Longreach's Boyd Curran said those cattle were now scheduled to be sold in Longreach the following week.

"Friday's sale will definitely go ahead - the 2500 head are in the yards and I've ordered 30 pairs of gumboots," he said. "I'm sure people will be happy buying cattle in the mud."

The Australian Green offering consists of 2000 Droughtmaster and Droughtmaster cross steers and 500 heifers.

According to Boyd, the federal government $300m assistance package announced this week should give a lot of people confidence to buy.

"People were at last week's sale hoping to pick up cattle for 250-260 cents.

"I think with the rain unfolding, the market will lift even more now."

Some 6000 composite steers from AACo's Brunette Downs were sold on a rebounding market last Friday at Longreach's first sale for nearly five years.

Boyd said he and AACo now intended offering 2800 head at a special sale in Longreach on Friday, April 5.

Rain has cancelled the 3000-head weaner sale set down for Blackall this Thursday but the April 11 prime and store sale, and the weaner sale on May 2 are still scheduled at this stage.

Blackall agents are philosophical about the potential 11,000 head offering at Longreach last week and in the next fortnight.

Blackall Elders manager Des Cuffe said from what he understood, Longreach had drawn a lot of their cattle from central Australia in the past.

"If they do start having regular sales, Winton vendors will certainly only go that far but those from Hughenden, Aramac, Barcaldine have gotten used to selling at Blackall, and had a good experience," he said. "Blackall's got the runs on the board and for them to sell at Longreach would mean they were heading west to go south."

Ray White Livestock's Andrew Turner said the Longreach sales were special sales.

"In the past, Longreach and Blackall always held sales on a Wednesday and Thursday, so if we can get some rain and build numbers up, it'll be great for the two communities," he said.

He was recently back from Alice Springs where he was sourcing cattle for restockers in the Richmond, Julia Creek and Winton areas.

"We are seeking cattle from all areas at competitive market rates, buying steers and considering cows and calves and 300kg heifers," he said.

Andrew said central Australia had appealed because a lot of saleyards in the east were onto their third cut of weaners, whereas the ones being offered in the territory were first cut weaners.

"Being dry there and the lack of competition from southern processors means that Queensland is one of their best options."

Agents anticipate a quiet couple of months if the ex-tropical cyclone delivers.

"We'd probably be better off getting a mowing franchise for a couple of months," Des Cuffe said.

"You'd expect it to be pretty quiet, unless people start trading.

"Banks might move people to sell a few but lick blocks, water products, hay - the need for all those things will cease."

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