The need for breed

Livestock | 13th November 2023 | By Matt Dalgleish

Market Morsel

Anyone that follows the cattle market knows that prices have pretty much halved from the peaks seen last year. Analysis of the AuctionsPlus sales data allows an insight into how the price falls have been felt across the highest volume breeds on the platform.

Annual average price data was collected for nine breeds across the AuctionsPlus database. In 2022 annual average cattle pricing shows that the Angus breed was leading the price table, with average pricing across all Angus cattle types coming in at nearly $2,000 per head. Most other breed types saw prices range between $1,700 to $1,850 during 2022. The exception was Brahman cattle which averaged a little over $1,450 per head.

Fast forward to average pricing so far in 2023 and we can see that all categories have sustained some hefty price declines, but some breed types have been a little more resilient to the price correction than others.

Average prices across breed types in 2023 range between $850 to $1,050 and Angus cattle are no longer the clear price leader, as Brangus and Droughtmaster cattle breeds have been achieving slightly higher pricing across the current season so far, based on average price levels for all cattle types being sold on the AuctionsPlus platform.

Indeed, an analysis of the percentage price change from 2022 to 2023 for each breed category shows that Brahman, Brangus and Droughtmaster cattle breeds have shown some good resilience to the market downturn, with average pricing declining by around 40%, compared to the 50% magnitude falls experienced by the other breed categories.

A further assessment of the average annual pricing by breed, looking at the price spreads of Angus cattle to the other breed categories from 2016 to 2023, shows that over the longer timeframe Angus cattle, on average, achieve about a 10% higher price relative to all other cattle breeds. But there are some breeds, like Charolais, that have been able to narrow the Angus spread to only 4%, on average, over 2016 to 2023. Indeed in some years Charolais breeds managed to earn above and average Angus price.

A comparison of the annual average spread that Angus cattle have achieved over all other breed types combined, from 2016 to 2023, shows that some years are much more favourable to Angus cattle than others with the annual Angus price ranging between 4% to nearly 18% higher.

During the last herd rebuild phase in 2021/22 Angus cattle appear to have been relatively well favoured on the AuctionsPlus platform, based upon the average spread behaviour to all other breed types, combined. However, the spread in 2023 has reverted back closer to the long-term 10% average spread achieved by Angus versus all other types with the current season average spread sitting at around 7% for 2023.


  • Auctions Plus
  • Cattle
  • Beef
  • Prices
  • Breed