A LINE of camels made history at the Central Queensland Livestock Exchange Prime and Store Sale on Wednesday and served as a dramatic curtain-raiser to another strong auction.
The Wednesday hump-day sale made for an unusual sight at the yards given camels have not gone under the hammer at Gracemere for at least 20 years.
Morgan Harris, TopX Rockhampton, said it was the first time camels had sold through the regular sale.
"All 17 were bought by Paul Martin, Summer Land Camels, Harrisville, " Mr Harris said.
"Their camel dairy operation, in the Scenic Rim, has tourists and a cafe so it's a very good home for them."
The vendor, Cliff and Kathy White, Home Hill Station, Glenroy, had been using the camels for weed control on their property.
"They were very well-handled, walked off the truck and drafted up nicely for us," Mr Harris said.
Summer Land's Paul Martin said he paid $240/head for the run.
"There are about 7 females, one bull and the balance at steered male camels," Mr Martin said.
"Obviously we will milk the females and then let them calve down, and as it is joining season we will use the bull in our breeding program.
"Once the camels are home we will assess the steered camels for temperament and they will be used for riding, or grown out for eating purposes."
Once at Harrsville they would have cost us $500 including freight.
After the excitement of the camel auction, more than 3100 head of cattle drawn from Charters Towers, St Lawrence, Dingo, Calliope, Theodore, and the local area were processed.
The quality was mixed, with most demand being driven by restockers chasing lightweight weaner heifers and steers.
"All cattle in this description sold very well, regardless of quality. The light restocker heifers made between 390 and 420 cents per kilo, which was higher than the last sale's rates," Mr Harris said.
A highlight for this category was Angus Moffitt's 222kg Brangus weaner heifers that reached 405c/kg to return $898/head.
The steer price was strong, topping at 450c/kg for Brangus cross steers from the Besch family, Bajool, that weighed 216kg to make $974/head.
Cow prices were firm and Comet vendor L and C Stewart's Brangus offering made $1486/head, after reaching 307c/kg and weighing in at 484kg.
Mr Harris was confident the strong market trends would roll on, given favourable forecasts across the region.
"With the predictions we may be heading into a La Nina, I see the demand and prices holding strong," he said.
"I think people are buying now as there is a worry, if it does rain, cattle will continue to get dearer.
"For our local producers, they are in a good position as we still have a fair amount of feed and, even though it has dried off, there is still a good body off grass."