The good season in New South Wales is driving the northern cattle market, with huge numbers of stock heading over the border throughout the past six weeks.
Elders Charters Towers branch manager Mitch Braithwaite said the demand for northern cattle heading south had been unprecedented and pushed the market to 500c/kg for lighter heifers, while similar steers were selling to 550c/kg on AuctionsPlus.
Mr Braithwaite said commission buyers were operating for NSW clients at the Dalrymple Saleyards, where yardings of 3800 head have been constant in recent months.
"Most northern producers are hedging their bets and taking the good prices while waiting for the much anticipated La Nina event to arrive, while the southern buyers are taking advantage of their available feed," he said.
Queensland Rural's Troy Trevor said the northern cattle market had been strong all year, particularly in the latter half and the market looked like it would hold and deliver a solid finish for 2020.
"This is the most competition we have seen in the north and records for price and numbers offered have been broken at both Mareeba and Charters Towers," he said.
"We have consigned Bos indicus cattle almost to the Victorian border, which is unprecedented."
Mr Trevor said additional store sales have been held at the Dalrymple Saleyards to absorb the cattle numbers.
On the live export front, Mr Braithwaite joked that with the exodus of bos indicus cattle to NSW, exporters might have to think about loading a ship out of Sydney Harbour.
He said the live cattle market was strong, with five vessels loading from the Port of Townsville this month.
Townsville-based Elders livestock manager Tom Kennedy said live export slaughter cattle in the 450 to 600kg range were holding at 365c to 370c/kg, while export feeder steers in the 320 to 450kg range were also at 370c.
"There will be several more shipments loaded through the Port of Townsville before Christmas, and we expect the Vietnam and Indonesian markets will hold," he said.
Mr Kennedy said southern Queensland feedlots were also major players in northern markets, where once they predominately steered away from Bos indicus cattle.