Boost for beef on the way

RECENT rainfall in northern New South Wales and southern Queensland was expected to boost cattle prices, but not to the levels seen in the previous year.
Simon Henderson from Phelan and Henderson and Co said a recent prime sale at VLE Leongatha saw a modest increase in prices.
“Beef prices are determined by the season, exchange rate and overseas demand. We are quietly confident we will see reasonable prices, but we won’t reach the dizzying heights seen last year,” he said.
Mr Henderson said the season in South Gippsland was off to a pretty good start with a dry winter, followed by a wet August and September.
“We are finding now that as the weather warms up, cattle are putting condition on fairly rapidly and there is still a reasonable margin in selling fat cattle and replacing them with well bred cattle from areas that are stressed for rainfall, such as north of the Divide and East Gippsland,” he said.
“There has been good (pasture) growth, but after last week’s hot spell farmers will be looking for a bit of rainfall again.”
Because South Gippsland is a fattening area, Mr Henderson said the reduction in the national cattle herd has not affected the local market.
“Locally, farmers have been able to buy cattle cheaper than they could in summer and autumn, so they have restocked with sufficient numbers to go forward with,” he said.
“The last store sale was dearer and grass fever could be starting to creep into the market, where people want to buy cattle because they have the feed.”
High cattle prices through the summer and autumn of this year caused some buyer resistance, which caused people to hold on to their cattle.
“There were a lot of cattle put on grain to be turned off in winter and when those extra cattle came onto the market, there was a significant price reduction,” Mr Henderson said.
August is traditionally the most expensive month of the year for fat cattle, but so far this year it has been the cheapest.
SEJ livestock manager Bill Egan said a recent market at VLE Leongatha showed there was a stronger demand for most classes of beef cattle, which had been the trend in the lead up to the sale.
“I think there has been a definite improvement the quality of the cattle yarded,” he said.
“Six weeks ago we were in a trough and nobody knew where we were going. We have certainly seen the bottom of that now and quality cattle should sell well through the coming season.
“We won’t go back to the highs that they were at, but prices will certainly show an improvement on where they have been over the last couple of months.”

Buying up big: Jack and Adam Bartlett from Toora were at the VLE Leongatha store sale last Thursday, looking for cattle to buy.

Short URL: https://thestar.com.au/?p=23045

Posted by on Oct 31 2017. 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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