Thursday, August 18, 2022

Bucks dominate weaner deer sales

Despite some serious headwinds over the past 12 months, High Peak Station presented a quality line up for one of the country’s largest on-farm weaner deer sales.

PGW auctioneer Glen Peddie, Hamish Guild and PGW deer agent Ron Schroeder at High Peak Station’s on-farm weaner sale.

Despite some serious headwinds over the past 12 months, High Peak Station presented a quality line up for one of the country’s largest on-farm weaner deer sales.

Nestled in the beyond of the Rakaia Gorge, High Peak was hit hard with rain, floods and wind causing significant infrastructure damage across a large part of the station.

“We lost all the low fences in the flood and the higher fences in the wind,” Hamish Guild said.

“We have had to deal with some serious headwinds to get these (weaner deer) here today, but I am happy with the stock we have presented here and thanks must go to our staff who have played a big part in that.” 

The sale though was in some respects disappointing.

“It was a bit mixed; the bigger male-types were better than expected, but the females were a bit soft and under what we had hoped for,” he said.

“I hope that is not a reflection on the industry and the no breed premium for females is not an indication the industry is static or falling.

“Compared to pre-covid we are a long way short, that is the impact of covid on venison,” he said.

“Hopefully we are coming out of that, certainly the venison schedule is going up on the normal for this time of the year with spring money less than the autumn money.

“We can be hopeful of some confidence in that,” he said.

PGG Wrightson specialist deer agent Ron Schroeder said High Peak followed the season’s trend for females.

“It was a disappointing result for females, with the males fully firm as expected,” Schroeder said.

Arrowsmith Station in the Ashburton Gorge had a similar result.

“There’s just been no premium paid for breeding hinds; from a finishers point of view the difference between the male and female is far too great,” he said.

High Peak’s English-cross weaner stags were strongly contested for their velvet genetics, fetching up to $5.88/kg, as were the European-cross weaner stags. selling from $4.25-$5.30/kg, with heavier hybrid weaner stags tipping the sale at $5.30-$5.60/kg.

The weaner hinds sold across the board from $2.52-$3.87/kg.

Meanwhile, schedule increases follow positive signals out of key export markets during what is normally a weaker part of the trading season.

Published schedules hit the $8 mark in March, the highest since covid first made its presence felt in early 2020, boding well for a more positive global outlook.

The upward trending pricing from $7.95-$8.05 a kilogram is up $2.70/kg on this time last year and tracking in line with the five-year average for autumn of $8.04/kg.

This recovery is forecast to continue during 2022, with the annual spring peak pricing expected to reach close to pre-covid levels.

The recovery has been driven by a good 2021 game season in Europe, which saw good sales and some optimism for the year ahead, the recovery of the foodservice sector in the US and successful market development activities in China, the US and elsewhere.

The velvet season closed on a strong note in terms of farm gate returns that continued to firm as the season progressed, with prices for Chinese grades especially finishing on a high.

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