Positive signs for prices
WHILE lamb, mutton and cattle prices are going through some uncertain times, the wool market returned from a break at higher levels and there is also some respite with the Australian dollar falling over the past couple of weeks.
The slightly weaker Australian currency is good news although exporters would like the value against the US dollar to be to around US70c instead of the US78c to US79c where it sits at the moment.
There has also been more good rain in Tasmania but more importantly most of Victoria and much of NSW have had good falls of 25mm to 50mm, which will probably mean in the short term producers will be able to control supply onto the market.
Cattle prices in local saleyards over the past week or 10 days have fallen significantly and at the moment the vast majority are in the 250c/kg to 280c/kg with an odd exception over 300c/kg.
Reports out of Quoiba indicate most butcher cattle are working out from 470c/kg to 490c/kg carcass weight – a long way from the 600c/kg plus of a month or so ago.
There is also a major difference between the price for farm-assured cattle and cattle not in the system. In many instances it can be 100c/kg carcass weight, on a 200kg carcass this is $200 per head.
Cow prices are the one category still faring well in the saleyards, with heavy cows in Tasmanian yards making from 210c/kg to 235c/kg (to a top of 244c/kg at Quoiba), while at Pakenham in Victoria a line of 80 D3 & D4 heavy beef cows made 220c/kg to 257c/kg with most averaging 246c/kg live.
This is still great money for cull-for-age cows and way ahead of Queensland prices which are averaging around 180c/kg to 190c/kg live. The reason is more numbers into northern abattoirs compared with south-eastern states.
Just one other comment revolving around a packet of bacon I bought from a local supermarket last week. It was branded by a company on the North-West Coast, which was encouraging. It wasn’t until I read the VERY small print that said that it contained local and imported product.
Now I may be naïve but there was only bacon in the package and so I can only assume some of the bacon was imported. I reckon it is pretty rich to brand bacon with a Tasmanian company name and then not be clear where the bacon comes from. What are your thoughts?