Rains in north lift prices

Substantial rain in NSW and Queensland has lifted prices for restocking steers and heifers


Opinion
Aa

With heavy rain covering a large percentage of parched and drought affected country in NSW and Queensland, there has been an immediate effect on cattle prices.

With heavy rain covering a large percentage of parched and drought affected country in NSW and Queensland, there has been an immediate effect on cattle prices.

Aa
Rain booster: Good rains in northern NSW and parts of Queensland have already been felt. Landmark Milling Thomas sale team selling Santa Gertrudis-cross cows at Dubbo.

Rain booster: Good rains in northern NSW and parts of Queensland have already been felt. Landmark Milling Thomas sale team selling Santa Gertrudis-cross cows at Dubbo.

However, most of this was noted for cattle, both steers and heifers, to return to the paddock or be grain fed.

The two markets in Victoria’s drawing area, Wagga Wagga and Barnawartha, have recorded significant price rises for suitable cattle.

There was little or no increase for grown steers and bullocks, and plain condition cows.

In fact many of the plain cows were cheaper, while some of the best quality beef cows were dearer.

It was with great interest I noted that ABARES predictions for the remainder of 2018 was that cattle prices would fall another 15 per cent, to average 455 cents per kilogram carcass weight.

The EYCI figure, Tuesday, hot 557.75c, was a big 24.75c/kg increase in one day, justifying ABARES’ prediction could be hard at present.

Maybe the timing of the weather was late, but drought-breaking rains in the north have already lifted prices both for store cattle and over the hook prices.

The question is, which one will win the race? Certainly in the short term it will be producers, at least those that have stock to sell.

Despite an increase in supply at Wagga Wagga on Monday to 4600 head, strong competition for steers and heifers to restock and feed, saw prices rise as much as 20c/kg lwt.

However, there was less enthusiasm for slaughter stock as processors held off due to “over supply”.

Some incremental increases were seen for the better quality grown steers and heifers.

Some of these increases were driven by one Queensland buyer attending Barnawartha and Wagga Wagga.

Noted especially at Barnawartha, was stronger demand for European breed vealers of good quality.

Prices here topped at 330c/kg, with an average increase for these vealers of 6c/kg lwt.

Interestingly, in southern markets supply was similar with the Labor Day public holiday this coming Monday, not reflected in this scenario.

Given the now very dry conditions across Victoria, this is unusual.

Leongatha is the major selling centre for grown steers and bullocks but agents are not yarding many for this time of year.

Prices for better quality bullocks here were from 255-270c, but the extra competition at Barnawartha aided a top price of 276c/kg lwt.

Demand for cows varied across the different sales and this saw some sell to 230c with most better quality being 205-223c/kg.

Lean, plain and lightweight cows took a hit in most markets.

Price being mostly from 135-175c/kg with a few better Friesian cows from 185-210c/kg.

Aa

From the front page

Sponsored by