Growing interest in superior eating quality beef added to the reduction in carcase weights demanded by some meat processors, is proving a win, win combination for Wagyu cattle breeders, according to the association.

It points out Wagyu bulls with high intramuscular fat (IMF), produce quality well-marbled beef from both dairy and native breeds of cattle. Furthermore, Wagyu bulls have the ability to improve the eating quality of beef produced from all breeds and with the use of IVF and embryo transfer full blood herds can be established in a reasonably short time.

Wagyu is also an ideal choice of bull for suckler beef production, producing medium-sized carcases it claims.

Such is the worldwide demand for the cattle that the Australian Wagyu Association recently held its Elite sale of Wagyu, embryos and semen which attracted buyers from as far afield as the UK, Europe, South Africa, New Zealand and Canada.

Top priced female was a heifer from Mayura Station, Millicent, South Australia by Itoshigenami Jnr – the sire of the top priced bull last year. Mayura N1229 made $280,000 selling to Brian Stamps, Tuttle, Oklahoma, USA, who also bought the lead priced semen at $6730 per straw (x 10) from Macquarie M0546, a high performing son of Y408.

The other high flyer at the sale at $200,000 was a Trent Bridge cow which sold in calf to a son of Y408. Trent Bridge K0034, a five-year-old is by the home-bred sire, TB F0126 and has a double cross of Itoshigenami TF148. The under-bidder of the previous lot, Geneflow, new entrants to the IVF embryo industry based at Tocumwal in New South Wales, were the final bidders. Their purchase will go into quarantine for the production of embryos.

Excluding those two sales, 13 cows averaged $42,692. The 14 bulls sold to top prices of $55,000, $52,000 and $50,000 to average £25,393.

The British Wagyu Association is holding its second virtual sale of Wagyu cattle, embryo’s and semen at Hexham Auction mart on August, 27.

On the morning of the sale there is an opportunity to visit Steve Ramshaw’s farm near Hexham to look at Wagyu full blood, pure bred and F1 production. Mr Ramshaw brought his Wagyu cattle from the USA more than 12 years ago and has seen the demand for the cattle grow year on year. The beef produced from his herd sells for up to £120kg in local retailers.