The realisation that it has rained somewhere in this dry country has set the cat among the pigeons in store cattle and sheep markets this past week.
While it hasn’t rained grass, and in fact in many places it hasn’t rained at all, the mere fact it has rained somewhere has literally changed the dynamic of the buying demand overnight.
After the Northern Victoria Livestock Exchange’s Barnawartha store cattle sale last Thursday, Corcoran Parker principal Kevin Corcoran said the large sale offering of 5300 was a drought-affected clearance.
Mr Corcoran said private agencies, which over the past few months have been forwarding cattle to Wodonga for sale, were now lining up to buy cattle back.
Steers were their main forced and the areas mostly involved included Coonamble, Inverell and Bathurst, all in NSW, which combined netted about 1000 head altogether.
Bathurst-based agent Todd Clements, Bowler & Livermore, said the rain measured in his area wasn’t that significant, maximum 25 millimetres.
But Mr Clements said the falls were enough to get them started should the rain forecast for the weekend and again early next week happen to eventuate.
“We’re just trying to a jump on a few cheaper cattle before the rest get motivated,” he said.
Oddly enough, after driving back to Bathurst following his cattle buying haul, Mr Clements re-emerged at Jerilderie, NSW, the next day to bid on ewes and wethers.
He said it could also become a bun fight for sheep once there has been a general rain.
And there was a sniff of excitement in the air at Jerilderie.
The reason for this was two-fold, one because of the rain in the north, and two because word had spread that the October sheep sale at Hay, NSW, had been cancelled due to numbers.
Now gone are the days of three spring sheep sales at Hay each year and also another in June.
There will still be breeders who will want to further lighten off and reduce their numbers, so these stock will either be received at Deniliquin, NSW, this Friday as additional entries, or sold on the scene if they can be mustered and moved.
Mr Corcoran said the re-emergence of northern buying support at cattle markets was timely.
He said it doesn’t take much to change the dynamics of the industry but with Victorian abattoirs processing to capacity, the support was urgently needed.
“Yes, we need help and we expect soon we’ll begin to get the necessary support from northern processors on bullocks and cows,” he said.