RECORD stock numbers have pushed up the Dubbo Regional Livestock Markets' annual operating income.
In the 12 months to June 30 the facility of Dubbo City Council collected almost $1.1 million more than the budget estimate of almost $2.6 million for yard dues and licence fees.
And while lack of rain in parts of Australia is recognised as a factor in the stream of stock to arrive at the Dubbo saleyards the council views the business that spins millions of dollars into the economy each year as sound beyond the short-term.
"The national cattle herd is predicted to grow despite the horrendous dry conditions," council corporate development director Ken Rogers told the Daily Liberal.
He said it was not long since the region had faced consecutive years of drought.
"The industry has demonstrated the ability to respond from bad to good quite quickly," he said.
The director said there were also other factors that resulted in more than 271,000 cattle and more than 1.5 million sheep passing through the Dubbo facility in 2013-14.
It had seen sustained good prices for some time, Mr Rogers said.
"Producers are chasing strong prices and the buyers are coming here because the stock are here," he said.
Improvements to the livestock market's infrastructure, "especially the rubber flooring" had also made "a big difference".
The council charged yard dues of $7.93 per head for cattle and $0.74 per head for sheep in 2013-14, according to its revenue policy.
Cattle numbers had been up by 91,000 on the budgeted figure and sheep by 388,000.
The council had taken a "fairly conservative" approach to the livestock market's budget for 2014-15, and had forecast a marginal increase on the 10-year average for stock numbers when estimating operating income, Mr Rogers said.
The extra income from 2013-14 would be reinvested into the business, allowing further upgrades to take place, he said.
The sheep-selling facility is undergoing a $4.1 million redevelopment this year and improvements to the cattle-selling area are also on the agenda.
Yesterday's prime cattle sale had drawn for 5403 cattle and today's store cattle sale had 1100 booked in, Mr Rogers reported.