IN an inspirational turnaround since the devastating 2019 bushfires, the Northern Rivers Livestock Exchange has celebrated its biggest ever week of sales in March, with combined revenue from three days of sales exceeding $10 million.
Day one of the annual George & Fuhrmann weaner sale was held on Friday 12 March, which saw 1482 cattle sold, generating $2.3 million in revenue.
The second day, 25 March, saw 3394 cattle sold for a total of $5.8 million, at an average of $1716 per head, smashing the previous single day record of $4.7 million.
The following day saw more than 2575 head with another $4.3 million in revenue.
NRLX Operations Manager Brad Willis said the sale results undoubtedly proved the strength of the region’s market.
“Many buyers commented it was the strongest sale they had ever seen, including several who came from as far afield as the Victorian border,” Mr Willis said.
“Demand for high quality cattle remains exceptionally strong, and it’s fair to say the selection of cattle on sale last week was some of the best quality stock in the country.
“These animals are highly sought after for their reliability and performance, with plenty of repeat buyers from previous years coming from across NSW and Queensland.
“People have made comment over the last few weeks that the Casino market is so strong – the prices are unbelievable.”
Mr Willis said it was a stunning reversal of fortune after the drought, which ended with the bushfire disaster, saw herds across the region dwindle.
“Many of the local producers who sell their stock through the NRLX were hand feeding their herds at the peak of the drought in mid-2019. Then many were hit by the fires,” he said.
“For vendors it is an exceptional result to bounce back so strongly, with such high quality stock, after the shock of 2019.
“It is also a credit to those who were able to nurse and retain their stocks through the drought.
“They’ve invested a lot to get their stock back to this point and they’ve produced an exceptional result.”
Mr Willis said the results also showed the commitment NRLX-based livestock agents had for their clients.
“The positive relationships being built between all stakeholders who use our facility are an important factor in this successful year,” he said.
As the current boom in cattle prices showed no signs of abating, Mr Willis said the NRLX was well positioned as a modern, industry-leading facility which vendors and buyers could rely on.
“Our technological infrastructure, safety, animal welfare and environmental standards here are world-class,” he said.
“We are regularly making adjustments to improve the experience for our buyers and vendors at the sales.”
Mr Willis said the results vindicated the $14 million investment in upgrading the NRLX by Richmond Valley Council with the support of the Federal and State governments.