A CONSISTENT downturn in the number of cattle being sold in Wangaratta continued last year, although the value of sales still exceeded $30 million.
While the year 2013 saw 43,466 cattle sold, figures released by the Wangaratta Livestock Exchange last week indicated a steady decrease in sales each year, bringing the total number of cattle sold in 2017 to just 27,338 – at and average price of $1100 per head.
Rural City of Wangaratta councillor, Harvey Benton, whose portfolio covers agriculture, said while the drop in cattle sales was disappointing, the figures were more reflective of industry trends rather than the Wangaratta saleyards specifically.
“Right across the board we’ve seen a decrease,” he explained.
“While we could definitely do more to promote the Wangaratta saleyards, the drop is more likely to be linked to the nature of the way rural industries are going.
“We’re seeing a lot more smaller producers than we’ve had in the past, and they’re going to have smaller lots to sell and a greater variety to sell too.”
annual sales figures
Year | Cattle sold
2013 | 43, 466
2014 | 41, 571
2015 | 37, 385
2016 | 32, 202
2017 | 27, 338