Beef prices hold steady

CATTLE numbers are dwindling at sales across the state, causing a flurry of buyers at last week’s VLE Leongatha store sale and a subsequent jump in prices.
Agents are anticipating lower numbers for most of winter, which could see prices hold steady in the lead up to spring.
SEJ livestock agent Terry Johnston said the beef market had been fairly ordinary until last Thursday’s sale, which saw prices recover slightly.
He said people were starting to realise cattle numbers were likely to be limited over the winter.
“At Bairnsdale a fortnight ago, there were 2000 cattle yarded. Last Friday, there were 900,” he said.
“At Leongatha last Thursday, we had around 1400 yarded, which was low compared to the numbers we were getting.”
Mr Johnston said the flow of cattle into the local sale from other parts of the state had slowed right down.
“It has been good here, but there are a lot of areas still lacking. At Yarram and in the east of the state, it hasn’t been a good season,” he said.
“They are predicting a mild winter, which seems to suit us down to the ground. In the dry areas, they have started to sell off their breeding stock, they just can’t hang on to them.”
Mr Johnston said globally, beef prices were not expected to increase in the short term.
“However, the local shortage might help to keep prices fairly solid here over winter. If there is a good general rain, things might take off,” he said.
Landmark livestock agent Terry Ginnane said while winter has arrived, South Gippsland has fared better than the majority of the state.
“We are better off than most areas. Obviously over the next six weeks when it gets colder there will not be a lot of growth, but we’ve got grass at the moment,” he said.
Mr Ginnane said at last week’s prime sale, the good cattle were dearer, however numbers were continuing to ease back.
“The only thing that hasn’t changed much is light, plain cattle. We are still seeing a lot come out of the north of the state,” he said.
“Good, finished cattle are in short supply, so I can’t see them coming back (in price).”
Mr Ginnane said demand at last Thursday’s store sale saw prices lift $50 to $100, making for a stronger sale, despite the smaller yarding.
“There was not much change in the cross bred dairy types, they are just not making big money. They take a long time to finish and they don’t winter very well,” he said.
After numbers backed off last Thursday, Mr Ginnane was predicting a more impressing yarding for the next store sale in a week’s time.
“Some of these cattle are going to look like good buying once there is some grass around, heading into spring,” he said.

Hold fast: SEJ livestock agent Terry Johnston is expecting lower numbers of quality cattle in the local sales over the next couple of months will help keep prices steady. He is pictured at the VLE Leongatha store sale last Thursday.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=25151

Posted by on Jun 13 2018. Filed under Rural News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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