DESPITE the dry weather demand for female cattle is still high.

Aussie Land and Livestock Auctioneer James Bredhauer said the droughtmaster female sale at Coolabunia last weekend brought in better prices than last year on the top of a bumper year for cattle prices.

"It's very rain dependant at the moment, but cattle sold extremely well for the lack of rain," he said.

"These are stud quality cattle, but they still need feed to take them home to."

The cattle were sold all over the state, from Far North Queensland to the Western Downs and down to Casino in New South Wales as well as locally.

"The demand for those stud females is high, people are looking to build their herd back up again, so they can supply more bulls to the market to get the herd back on track again," Mr Bredhauer said.

Prices for cows and calves at the sale topped $10,000, while the average price was $4300 and heifers topped at $5750.

Sisters Sarah, Melissa and Megan Birch from Eidsvold Birch droughtmaster Stud were at the sale with their father.

"Prices are pretty reasonable considering how dry it is at the moment," Sarah said.

All three daughters are interested in getting involved in the family business.

Sarah said Droughtmasters were a popular breed for their ability to withstand the often harsh Australian climate.

"They do a lot better than fluffier breeds in most climates and are a very good fit for Australia," she said.

As the year comes to a close, the industry faces some challenges in the new year.

According to Meat and Livestock Australia the cattle supply numbers will fall in the next two years to its lowest levels in more than 20 years.

This will push competition between, feedlots, re-stockers and processors for the limited numbers.

As of June this year the herd number was estimated to be 26.2 million head and is projected to rise slightly next year to 26.3 million head of cattle.

This will work to offset a projected 18% year on year decline of adult cattle slaughter for 2016 at 7.4 million head, will be the expectation that average carcase weights will increase.

This assumption is based on much lower stocking rates, a greater proportion of lighter northern cattle exported live, a higher proportion of cattle on feed and fewer female cattle processed.

According to Mecardo Ag Concepts, cattle supply should remain strong.

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South Burnett

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