THE quality rain received over a large area of southern Australia last week had an immediate effect on supply, with markets in the Riverina and northern Victoria offering heavily reduced numbers.
This shorter supply immediately lifted prices, a welcome change.
The recent drought conditions experienced across most of the country led to a huge turn-off of livestock.
The oversupply of sheep and lambs was turned around earlier, and after suffering some significant price adjustments, prices have risen over the past week or so.
Cattle prices, on the other hand, have shown signs of improvement only this past week, and have generally been small to moderate.
Cattle slaughter figures have been rising week-on-week and reached 157,000 head in May – up 18 per cent year-on-year and 15pc higher than the five-year average (Meat and Livestock Australia).
Because of the supply increase, Australian beef and veal exports have risen exponentially with the tonnage for May lifting to 103,207, which is 8000t higher than the previous month's record, according to MLA.
China continues to emerge as a solid trading partner, importing 11,486t – up massively from 709t in May 2012.
Now that the Australian dollar has settled around 95c against the greenback and lower against other world trading partners, exporters have lifted their game to some degree.
Another fact, but on the negative side, is the demise of cropping enterprises in Western Australia.
According to The West Australian newspaper, up to 30pc of crop farmers in WA will not sow a crop this year as banks are refusing loans to buy seed and cover the cost of sowing.
A faux pas is the continual assault from animal activists on our live-export markets and also the over-zealous activity within.
There are 178 member countries of the OIE-World Organisation for Animal Health; Australia exports to some.
Being a member requires a country to agree to certain standards of livestock transport, handling and slaughter. However, the humane handling of livestock across these countries, some of which we make live shipments to, does not occur unless they actually follow up on the guidelines.
No Australian or the Australian Government accepts animal cruelty.
However, we are targeted by animal activists despite our high quality record.
We adhere to the high standards set for animal welfare, but are continually taken to task for mistreatment of animals by others.