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Saleyard survey state-by-state

The results are in from MLA’s annual saleyard survey, which identifies total number of cattle and sheep consigned to Australia’s saleyards over the course of a financial year.

View the full cattle saleyard survey report.

New South Wales

Cattle saleyard throughput totalled nearly 1.66 million head, a decrease of 5.8% year-on-year, the highest of all states recorded in the 2018–19 survey. Generally, cattle numbers decreased at inland saleyards, with parts of Northern NSW and coastal areas posting increases.

Like previous years, the saleyard with the highest throughput for NSW was Dubbo, recording 193,788 head. Wagga Wagga yarded 172,734 head, followed by CTLX Carcoar with 139,249 head.

There was decreased throughput at TRLX Tamworth, totalling 119,408 consignments. Gunnedah yarded 118,118 head of cattle, also decreasing in volume year-on-year.

Numbers at Inverell substantially improved on the previous year to 108,941 head. Casino also lifted total throughput during the year, recording 99,887 consignments, up 8.6% year-on-year. Yass reached a total throughput of 76,827 head, a decrease of 1.1%. Forbes cattle numbers decreased, yarding 65,974 head. Armidale was one of the few saleyards to increase throughput, total yardings up by nearly 25%, recording 61,116 head.


MLA’s 2018-19 saleyard survey showed 1.3 million cattle consigned across Queensland, increasing 4.4% year-on-year. The tough seasonal conditions in NSW saw cattle numbers increase for most saleyards that sit adjacent to the Queensland-NSW border.

Those saleyards closer to Brisbane generally recorded more cattle compared to the previous year, while saleyards furthest west stable in throughput. Saleyards situated in the Queensland Murray Darling Basin, Fitzroy Basin, Western Downs and Goondiwindi regions posted the greatest increases.

Roma remained the largest cattle selling centre for the country, with a similar throughput to the previous year at 319,053 head. Dalby followed with 258,293 consignments and Gracemere yarded 126,000 head. Emerald closely followed with 92,477 cattle yarded while Warwick recorded a total consignment of 70,052 head - up 15.8%.

Numbers eased slightly from the previous year for Charters Towers, as they totalled 61,173 head. Blackall experienced a significant decline to their total cattle throughput, recording 44,023 consignments.

Numbers at Biggenden increased to 42,143 head, along with Gympie, posting a total throughput of 42,024 head. Toowoomba eased 11.1% to yard 38,819 head for the 2018-19 financial year.


1.04 million cattle were consigned to Victorian saleyards in 2018–19, an increase of 12.5% year-on-year. Generally, saleyards located in southern parts of the state and surrounding Melbourne saw increased cattle numbers, with those located furthest from Melbourne recording decreases.

Once again, NVLX Wodonga recorded the highest cattle throughput for the state with 175,993 head yarded over the course of the year.

As with the previous year, Leongatha had the next biggest yardings, this time consigning 138,846 cattle. Pakenham numbers increased considerably to 117,944 head, while Shepparton followed closely with 106,342 head. Warrnambool secured 71,746 head, increasing their total throughput year-on-year.

Numbers at Mortlake more than doubled compared to the previous year, to 61,121 head. Ballarat followed with 56,586 head yarded, up 38.7%.

Bairnsdale experienced a considerable decline of 36.9%, yarding 44,182 head. Echuca yarded 37,370 head, up on the previous year. Camperdown had 33,861 consignments, just above the numbers received during 2017–18.

South Australia

Total cattle throughput for SA saleyards increased from 224,340 head in 2017–18 to 238,242 head, an increase of 6.2%.

In the 2018–19 survey, the selling centre with the highest yardings was Naracoorte, with a throughput of 83,596 head. This was closely followed by Mount Gambier and then Mount Compass, at 80,521 and 52,000 head, respectively.

Dublin’s total number of consignments was 22,125 head. It was evident that saleyards nearing the state’s capital were showing the largest decreases, while those nearing the South Australia-Victorian border saw higher volumes.

Western Australia

WA cattle throughput remained similar year-on-year, totalling 261,225 head in 2018-19. This year, Boyanup had the highest number of consignments, followed by Muchea, yarding 95,590 and 93,617 head, respectively. Mount Barker yarded 69,551 head and Manjimup yarded 2,467 head.


The 2018–19 MLA survey revealed that that Powranna and Killafaddy had the largest number of cattle consignments, with a total 47,100 head recorded across all sale formats. Following that was the saleyard at Quoiba, reaching 13,240 head.

View the full sheep saleyard survey report.

New South Wales

The number of sheep consigned in NSW saleyards in 2018–19 was 8.56 million head, down 473,013 head, a 5.2% decrease year-on-year.

The survey shows that saleyards with the largest decreases of sheep were primarily located within the Murrumbidgee and Central West regions.

As was the case last year, Wagga had the highest total throughput with 1.75 million sheep yarded – maintaining its reputation as the largest selling centre for sheep in the country.

Forbes followed with 1.5 million consignments, along with Dubbo, recording 1.14 million head, both decreasing year-on-year. SELX Yass increased throughput yarding 860,150 head, followed by Corowa, recording a substantial increase in volume to total 794,268 head.

Sheep throughput decreased at Griffith, recording 505,195 head. CTLX Carcoar also had reduced consignments to 385,981 head. Yardings at Cowra were down slightly, consigning 320,864 head of sheep. Deniliquin yarded 215,948 head, remaining close to firm year-on-year. TRLX Tamworth yarded 211,681 head, down 11.7%.


The majority of Queensland’s sheep saleyards didn’t host sales this financial year due to the persisting dry conditions. This year, Warwick totalled 113,110 head, a decrease of 3.2% on last year.


Total sheep throughput in Victoria exceeded 5.1 million head, a significant increase of 11.5% year-on-year. This survey illustrated that most saleyards within the Glenelg Hopkins, North Central and Wimmera regions recorded larger numbers in 2018–19, along with those within the Western District and South Gippsland region, with remaining saleyards outside these areas generally posting decreases.

Ballarat recorded the highest throughput with 1.55 million sheep yarded, up 13% year-on-year. Bendigo followed with 1.15 million sheep, experiencing a solid increase of 12.7%.

Hamilton yarded 1 million head to remain firm on the previous year. Next was Horsham with 477,387 sheep yarded, lifting slightly in volume, while Swan Hill also improved steadily with a total throughput of 241,607 consignments.

Ouyen throughput rose significantly to yard 264,816 head, while Warracknabeal increased slightly, yarding 115,219 head. Wycheproof had 90,885 consignments, a slight increase, while Shepparton posted a substantial decrease, totalling 79,809 head. Bairnsdale yarded 29,253 head, a decrease of 15.6% year-on-year.

South Australia

Over 1.1 million sheep were yarded in SA for the 2018–19 financial year, increasing 8.4%. Dublin had the highest throughput, just over 50% of the states total throughput, with 607,134 head. Naracoorte yarded 447,703 head, and Mount Gambier, 121,596 head.

Western Australia

Sheep saleyard throughput was 1.4 million head in WA in 2018–19, with 1.39 million head yarded, a decrease of 6.5% year-on-year. The largest number of sheep went to Katanning, where throughput reached 849,030 head, up 2.3% on last financial year. Muchea yarded 539,849 sheep, a decrease of 17.6% head year-on-year.


In 2018-19, Powranna & Killafaddy had the largest throughput, totalling 205,800 head. Quoiba yarded a total of 52,000 head.

© Meat & Livestock Australia Limited, 2019



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