A ‘well balanced’ bull just sold for a record price – and foreign buyers were watching

Business Insider SA
Prairie the Simbra bull sold for R370,000
(Via SwiftVEE)
  • Prairie, the Simbra stud bull, sold for a record R370,000 this week, which is believed to be around R100,000 than the previous record for the breed.
  • He was highly prized for his "well balanced" proportions and muscling on the shoulder and hind-quarters.
  • But auction platform SwiftVEE said it is attracting foreign buyers who are helping to drive up prices, as livestock auctions go fully online.
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A single Simbra bull sold for a record R370,000 in an online auction this week, just two months after a R310,000 Nguni bull set a new world price record for that breed of cattle.

19 other bulls in the same auction fetched an average price of R95,000 each, said online auction platform SwiftVEE, but the four-year-old Prairie "fetched a high price because he is so well balanced in his proportions and carries all the defining features of the Simbra breed. The muscling on the shoulder and hind-quarters are distinctive championship features."

Prairie is expected to offer another six to ten years of breeding.

The Simbra breed is popular in South African feedlots, and is promoted as "the complete all-rounder". Its roots trace back to Switzerland and India, by way of the USA, and it has found a home in many places throughout Southern Africa.

The previous highest price paid at auction for a Simbra is believed to have been in the region of R260,000 – which was also beaten by the next-highest price paid at this week's auction, at R270,000 for a bull named Rolls Royce.

The record prices may not be down to just Prairie and Rolls Royce's meaty characteristics. Since its launch last year it has seen bidders from all over the world register for auctions, SwiftVee said. The company suspects the relatively weak rand makes SA livestock auctions particularly attractive, with breeding stock sold to buyers in Thailand, Australia, France, and the USA, as well as to neighbouring countries.

This week's auction featured successful bidders from Zimbabwe and France, the company said, though the French bidder was buying for a farm in SA, rather than export.

(Compiled by Phillip de Wet)

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