RECORDS were smashed at the Northern Rivers Livestock Exchange on Friday, with total turnover creeping above $4 million for the first time.
Following a sustained boom in demand for cattle since February, the year-to-date cash turnover at the NRLX is on track to exceed $110 million by the end of June.
NRLX Operations Manager Brad Willis said it was fantastic news for local producers.
“Last Friday’s T&W McCormack-Ramsay & Bulmer joint store sale was the first-ever sale at the NRLX to exceed $4 million in turnover,” Mr Willis said.
“A total of 3750 head of cattle were sold, and local producers are getting top dollar for their product.
“To date, this financial year has seen 122,447 head of cattle sold at the NRLX and our throughput is on track to be the highest in a decade – quite possibly the highest in 20 years.”
In what could be described as a year of extremes, Mr Willis said the first six months of the financial year had throughput driven by drought and fire with the need for local producers to reduce stock because of disastrous conditions. During this same period, Victoria experienced good rainfall and the NRLX was able to attract buyers from these regions both directly and through local commission buyers.
“While much of the recent boom in numbers and price could be attributed to the dramatic recovery in conditions since last year’s drought, widespread rain across western NSW and Queensland has driven the price climb to record highs and helped to sustain it at this level for some months now,” Mr Willis said.
Mr Willis said the upgraded NRLX was also a key drawcard for buyers, vendors and agents.
He said many buyers were travelling long distances to restock herds from as far afield as western and south western NSW, and western Queensland.
“The upgraded facility is now attracting new buyers from further afield and our local commission buyers have been supporting leads and options to a much bigger marketplace than we did in the past,” Mr Willis said.
“There is also a lot of positive feedback from these buyers about the facility – how well presented it is, the quality of the infrastructure, the significant improvements, and how well it works as a livestock exchange.
“This is certainly contributing and supporting to the environment for this level of business to take place.”
Mr Willis said the NRLX was Richmond Valley Council’s largest generator of economic activity and it would not be long before some of the money was being spent in town.
“If producers are making money, they will spend it, “ he said.
“Rural supply stores, contractors and retailers generally can expect some of the benefits flowing from the record sales taking place at the NRLX.”
With a suite of technological innovations installed during the upgrade, the NRLX has also been able to respond quickly to the NSW Government’s COVID-19 public health orders by deploying the StockLive auction streaming platform on sale days, making it easier for sellers and buyers to tune in.
“This added service has been well received by vendors and buyers with strong support to see it continue beyond COVID-19 restrictions,” Mr Willis said.
Richmond Valley Council has also established a new customer service centre at the NRLX, which will give residents the option to pay their rates and charges, submit enquiries, and lodge Council forms.
It is hoped the facility will be particularly convenient to the Richmond Valley’s agricultural community who are now able to access Council’s customer service five days per week from the agricultural hub.
“Council and NRLX management recognise the significance of the agriculture community and are bringing the services to the people, a first for saleyards in the country,” Mr Willis said.
“We are continuing to push for improved operations and improved services wherever possible because we want to continue to be a leader in the market.”
For the latest NRLX news and sale information, visit the website here: nrlxcasino.com.au