The annual Hamilton weaner sales aren’t going anywhere, says Hamilton Stock Agents Association president Heath Templeton.
While there has been some recent speculation in the media the imminent opening of the Western Victoria Livestock Exchange at Mortlake could draw weaner numbers away from Hamilton’s annual cattle selling frenzy, Mr Templeton said vendors were keen to keep selling their weaner cattle at Hamilton.
“No one has said they want to move them,” Mr Templeton said.
“There is no reason why you would want to change something that’s been going for 50 years if they are successful,” he said.
Mr Templeton said the Hamilton sales had a renowned reputation of presenting “blue ribbon” weaner cattle and were comparable to other big weaner sales throughout Australia.
The weaners sold at Hamilton were regarded as “blue ribbon” because they were well bred and pure bred.
“A Hereford is a Hereford and an Angus is an Angus. There is no infusion of any cross-breeds,” Mr Templeton said.
“A lot of Queensland and NSW people come down as long as they have rain,” he said.
Mr Templeton said those areas had received some rain recently but the prices likely to be paid were still “a big unknown.” However he expected $3-$3.50/kilogram to be paid for all weight classes of steers.
The first of the Hamilton sales will be on Monday, January 8, and Mr Templeton expects about 14,000 weaners will be sold at the six Hamilton sales that run through to January 18. Casterton also has three weaner sales from January 8-18.
Mr Templeton said numbers for the Hamilton sales were close to those of last year.
He did not expect the first store cattle sale at the new Mortlake saleyards on February 1 would draw many cattle away from the Hamilton weaner sales. While there would be some weaner cattle sold at that sale, it would also offer other classes such as heavier animals, he said.