The Stud Season That Was.

By Michael McManus, AuctionsPlus Market Insights

The spring stud season has always been a busy period at AuctionsPlus with online connectivity featured at many stud sales across Australia. 2020 has seen very different circumstances at play forcing studs to adapt to new rules and restrictions in order to have their on-property sales. This meant that online selling was adopted by many to combat restrictions, so that all buyers could have the opportunity to purchase regardless of their location. The result has been the busiest spring selling season AuctionsPlus has had to date, with an influx of new studs onboarding and existing customers returning. The stud team worked tirelessly to get sales up online with photos and videos, whilst running auctions during the day. Our biggest day for the 2020 season saw 25 auctions running on one day.

The AuctionsPlus Market Insights team have reviewed stud data from the current season and compared it to the previous to showcase the growth the platform has undergone. Obviously, there are stud sales all year round, but for the case of this report we have defined the period as the 1st August to the 16th October for 2019 and 2020, including any interfaced sheep and cattle stud sales.

Total sales for the period more than doubled, growing 160% to total 294 sales for 2020. That included 109 cattle sales and 185 sheep sales with sheep sales seeing the largest growth, up 278% from 2019 and cattle increasing by 70%. This increased volume of sales was at a time when travel restrictions were implemented between states and internally included travel restrictions for employees at AuctionsPlus. In order for us to deliver our service, we relied heavily on agents and AuctionsPlus contractors to carry out the heavy lifting on the ground in terms of setting up streaming and bidding on behalf of AuctionsPlus.

Online buyer numbers increased by 80% to average 9 bidders per sale, up from 5 in 2019. Total number of connections increased from 60 in 2019 to 120 connections in 2020, growing by 100%. Total bids increased 845% from 4,253 to 40,175 in 2020 and total lots purchased by online buyers increased 588% from 588 to 4,048.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created so much uncertainty and burden on many people throughout the world and despite Agriculture being deemed an essential service, many were still forced to rethink their operations and traditional selling options. For the first time ever, we saw some studs go completely online for their sale which was a huge change for not only themselves but all their buyers who usually attend their farms and view their perspective animals. The social aspect of attending stud sales and catching up with other farmers/agents in the area is also an important part to these sales. This was all turned on its head with the imposed social distancing and gathering restrictions, therefore many people opted to use the online only format, a new experience breaking many years of tradition.

As a business we would just like to thank all the vendors, agents and online users for their support of our system, even in the times when things didn’t go to plan. Everyone here at AuctionsPlus is extremely grateful that we get the opportunity to work with such a great network across rural Australia. We look forward to another stud selling season in 2021.