Cattle prices good for everyone, or are they?
Bill Steffensen They’re spreading the money around...
FOLLOWING years in the dog house, Bill Steffensen says the cattle market isn’t taking anything for granted.
The Coolabunia agent said the prices, which reached 356c/kg at the recent weaner sale, helped the entire industry, even buyers navigating the high prices.
“After 12 months of reasonable prices, producers out there are doing repairs, maintenance and buying new equipment,” he said.
“They’re spreading the money around, it’s helping absolutely everyone.”
While it is argued high prices hurt those restocking, Mr Steffensen said this was not the case.
“Those people restocking will do it piece by piece. If prices level out where they are at the moment, it would be wonderful for everyone,” he said.
Mr Steffensen said the low prices of past years were still firmly in mind, and producers deserved this return on their investment.
“A couple of years ago is still very, very fresh in everyone’s mind,” he said.
“One unfortunate client sent cattle and didn’t get a cheque for a thousand dollars, but the same cattle got 500 and 600 this year.
“I think it’s great the prices are as good as they are.”
While Mr Steffensen said the prices “helped the entire industry”, others disagreed.
In a statement released by Member for Mount Isa Rob Katter, he said the record cattle prices only benefited a “small number of farmers across the state with cattle left”.
He said the prices were likely to leave many de-stocked graziers out of pocket.
“The high prices might be good for some, but this is a huge hurdle for a large majority of property owners looking to restock,” Mr Katter said.
Mr Katter said producers with good numbers in the yards were in good stead, but said many were still finding their feet after drought years. He said it was those people the high prices hurt most.
“The more costly the cattle, the more expensive it is going to be for some of our drought stricken farmers to get back on their feet,” he said.
COOLABUNIA SALEYARD: Auctioneer Bill Steffensen says weather is the biggest hurdle for cattle farmers in the colder months.