Bull values still reeling from export ban

Bob Garnant and Gareth McKnightCountryman

Broome Bull Sale results, although showing mixed signs of recovery, are continuing to suffer from the live cattle export suspension of 2011.

This was the opinion of various participants of the WALSA Invitation Bos Indicus Bull Sale in Broome last week as 52 Brahman bulls were put through the sale ring.

Pastoralists bought 33 to a top of $3500 to average $2470 on the fall of the hammer.

The average price was down $76 on last year when 70 bulls were offered with 57 selling in the ring for an average price of $2546.

After the sale, all of the bulls that were passed in were sold privately.

This was a big positive from this year's sale, according to Elders Broome livestock manager Kelvin Hancey.

"The complete clearance of all of the bulls on offer made the sale a success," he said.

Mr Hancey said buyers hailed from Broome, Fitzroy Crossing and all over the West Kimberley.

"It is, however, a difficult time for the live export cattle market and this is reflected by lower prices," he said.

WA Brahman Breeders Association president Kathy Lovelock said pastoralists had not recovered from the aftermath of the live export suspension of 2011.

"The increased quota orders are difficult to fill, with the new increased weights," she said.

"Pastoralists were geared to supply the younger weights, and it takes time to change breeding programs."

Mrs Lovelock said one of the regular supporters of the sale was not in attendance because of a change in ownership.

And she said other regular participants were not present because they were reviewing the current industry situation.

One new buyer to the sale was account Napier Downs, which bought seven Red Brahmans.

Anna Plains pastoralists David and Helen Stoate, who run cattle 250km south of Broome, bought 11 bulls at auction and 12 privately.

"We have plenty of feed and the season has been very kind," Mr Stoate said.

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