In the breed

Livestock | 1st June 2021 | By Matt Dalgleish

The Snapshot

  • Weighted average price indicators show that Angus cattle have achieved the highest price across breeds with a $2130 per head price across all cattle categories.
  • On average, across all breed types, Angus steers have achieved a 14% premium spread for the 2021 season.
  • Across all other breed types Angus heifers have achieved an average premium spread of 15%.

The Detail

This week Auctions Plus released some handy data for the last three years outlining pricing and volume from their sales of a selection of different cattle breeds. It comes hot on the heals of a hotly disputed online vote on the best cattle breed in Australia, ran by ABC radio host Warwick Long via Twitter.

The outcome of the Twitter poll was a playoff between Angus and Belted Galloway cattle in the final, and somewhat surprisingly the Belted Galloway was declared the champion. Curiously, the Belted Galloway variety didn’t feature in the Auctions Plus breed sales data.

Auctions Plus have collated the sales results for eight cattle breeds across the country. The Episode3 team was able to use this data to create some breed indicator prices and compare spreads across a selection of cattle breed types.

Firstly, we created a weighted average (based on sales volumes) dollar per head price for each breed, using all listed cattle categories, which combined prices for steers, heifers, cows and cows with a calf at foot.

The result of the indicative breed price shows that in 2021 the Angus cattle performed best on a weighted average price basis via the Auctions Plus platform achieving a dollar per head price of $2130 across all cattle types. Hereford and Shorthorn came in second and third place on $1985 and $1846, respectively. Brahman cattle were classified last, out of the group of eight, coming in at a weighted average price of $1302 per head.

Applying some price/volume filters to the data the EP3 team also compared prices for steers and heifers, weighing between 200 to 330 kg live-weight. Angus steers topped the category too, fetching an average per head price of $1623. The battle for second and third place was tight for steers with Shorthorn steers marginally defeating Hereford steers by a whisker, $1552 compared to $1551. Brahman steers maintaining the wooden spoon at $1228.

Heifer prices were a little less varied with most categories fetching between $1323 to $1392. Angus heifers were again the standout, topping the group at $1504. Brangus heifers also performed well in second place at $1429. Meanwhile Hereford heifers achieved a third place at $1392. Brahman heifers were quite discounted at an average price of $1041.

In order to compare cattle breeds for steers and heifers between all other breed types a simple price spread premium/discount matrix was created. Displayed below are the matrix tables. Reading left to right for each breed along the rows highlights the relevant spread premium or discount achieved so far during 2021.

For example,  Angus steers are holding a 32% premium spread to Brahman steers and a 5% premium to Hereford steers. On average, across all breed types Angus steers have achieved a 14% premium. Meanwhile, Charbray steers have ran at a 4% discount to Droughtmaster and Brangus steers, but a 12% premium to Brahman.

Similarly, Angus heifers have achieved a 45% premium spread to Brahman heifers and a 5% premium to Brangus heifers. Across all other breed types Angus heifers have achieved an average premium spread of 15%.


  • Cattle
  • Beef
  • Spreads