Newsletter No.17

KWA News | 15th April 2023

15 April 2023

The Season

After a dry February, March and April have seen good rain and a green tinge coming back to the pasture. This is welcome as we were starting to worry. It is still too early to celebrate as the long term guess from the BOM is still for a dry year.


We have started calving the full-blood Wagyu heifers. Three on the ground so far. Our photo of the week is of U2 which has been named Koolang Bono after the lead singer in the famous Irish band of the same name.

We now have three 2023 calves on the ground. This is exciting as they are all by QGI R5 (PPWEROO5.) This bull is a terrific all rounder. He has Mayura L0010 as a sire. On the dam side he has Haruki 2 and Itoshigefuji. His EBVs are great. Marble Score is +2.6, Carcase weight +39kgs Gestation Length of -2.0. There is increasing focus on gestation length in the industry. This is coming from the need to keep full blood herds highly productive. A cow with a long gestation length may miss out on the next calving cycle and this will result either in a cull or carrying the cost of an animal running around for 12 months not producing anything. In addition, a calf which is carried longer may be bigger and more difficult to calve. Therefore we are looking at this metric more closely. The current method of measuring Gestation Length is a bit average. These heifers were all AI’d on the same day. When they have all calved we will have a good read on the actual gestation length of R5 calves. The breed average time for gestation length is 287 days.

R Heifers ready to calve

The Market

The market has been volatile in one direction, down. From F1 prices of over $10/Kg at 300Kg we are now looking at $5-6./kg on the grids. This is a big hit and has left many wondering about the cause. Talking around the market the major issue is clearly the supply chain. There are still many tens of thousands of cattle purchased by feedlots purchased at higher prices and on feed.When processed they will not realise enough to cover their full cost. The feedlots have to lower prices to bring input prices into line with what they can expect at the time of sale. The reason for the decline in supermarket and wholesale prices of luxury and premium beef are obviously tied up in the overall lack of confidence around the world in the face of inflation and talk of recession.

Other factors which are critical to the story are the cancellation of the boat trade. This has been a mainstay of the Australian Wagyu industry for decades. Most recently the boat trade was taking over 1000 head per month to Japan. The last boat was loaded in November 2022. The numbers for the Japanese buyers simply do not work anymore. They have always used imported feed to finish these animals in Japan. Ukraine was a key source of grain for Japanese feedlots. Since the Russian Ukrainian war they have not been able to source cheap grain. In addition, the Covid impacted Olympics in Japan left a huge overhang of premium meat product in Japanese cold storage. This is only finally being absorbed by the market. The result is that the Boat trade may be permanently closed. I am indebted to Steve Martin of Martin Wagyu, for these insights.

Bulls for Sale

We still have some excellent “S” bulls for sale although not a huge number. They are now nearly full grown and look very smart.

We have had our first inquiries for “T” bulls, born in 2022. We have a great selection with some truly fabulous figures. Please start to contact us for details so we can understand your requirements.

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