WINDHOEK – A total of 589 stud bulls were sold at 20 stud auctions hosted by Agra stud services in 2014.
Stud expert, Kiep Lepen, describes 2014 as “dominated by the unilateral closing of the South African/Namibian border for the import of animals from Namibia.” The average bull price in 2014 was N$37 772. After a difficult 2013 for farmers it was expected that this would decrease, as it did compared to the previous years’ auctions with average prices of N$39 668 achieved in 2013 and N$42 488 in 2012. The average bull price is primarily related to the current slaughter and weaner prices, according to Lepen.
“Considering the farming conditions, especially in 2013, the stud industry was in general satisfied with bull prices achieved. In difficult times, it should be expected that commercial producers have less cash available to spend on bulls purchasing and the stud industry accepts it as such,” Lepen says.
The most expensive bull sold in 2014 was a Bonsmara bull from the herd of Hartebeestloop, which sold for N$400 000. In 2013 the highest price paid for a bull was N$500 000, in 2012, it was N$400 000, in 2011, N$480 000 and in 2010, N$450 000. All the bulls achieving these exceptional high prices were from the Hartebeestloop Bonsmara stud. The Bonsmara breed achieved the highest average price for the fourth consecutive year for their bulls sold in 2014. A total of 163 Bonsmara bulls were sold on Agra stud auctions for an average price of N$45 411. The Boran breeders achieved the second best average for bulls sold at their very first auction in Windhoek, where 12 bulls were sold for an average of N$41 750, followed by the Braunvieh breed, that achieved an average price of N$40 375 per bull for 16 bulls sold in the year.
The Northern Select group of breeders sold the most bulls over the year with a total of 92 bulls sold at their two auctions in the year and this group of breeders also achieved the highest turnover of N$4 805 500. The Paresis auction in Otjiwarongo sold the most bulls at an auction, with 69 bulls sold.
Lepen summarised the results of the year by the following conclusions and statements:
- Brahman and Bonsmara bulls are still the most popular breeds for buyers, followed by Simmentaler, Simbra, Santa Gertruidis and Braunvieh bulls.
- Hartebeestloop Bonsmaras stands out as the top auction regarding prices achieved and being a popular auction for buying top genetics.
- The demand for female breeding animals was lower than expected
- Only above average bulls get bids at the auctions.
- Emerging farmers become an increasing factor in the buying of animals at auctions.
- The larger, collective (group) auctions achieve higher turnovers and participating breeders definitely benefit from being part of such a large group. More buyers attend the group auctions because a bigger offering provides a wider choice of bulls. The buyers can basically fulfil their needs at one auction, which saves on time as well as transport costs.
- Auction committees and/or coordinators thus play an increasing important role in the successful hosting of auctions and breeders who take ownership of their auctions as far as advertising and the organising of the auctions are concerned.
In general, Lepen had the following to say about farming, especially farming with stud animals: “Whenever an investment is dependent on the elements of nature, it remains a huge risk. Farming is indeed more of a lifestyle for people who love animals and nature than it is a profitable financial investment.”