Cat­tle prices tum­ble fur­ther

Tasmanian Country - - THE STOCK REPORT - Richard Bailey

CAT­TLE prices have con­tin­ued to ease again this week even though kill fig­ures are way up on last year in the east­ern states.

The lat­est slaugh­ter re­port to the week end­ing Septem­ber 22 shows that the east­ern states kill is track­ing 30 per cent higher than a year ago – that is a lot.

The Queens­land kill was up 31 per cent, NSW up 28 per cent and Vic­to­ria 15 per cent.

Meat and Live­stock Aus­tralia says the rea­sons be­hind the in­crease are much higher sup­ply and lack of re­stocker com­pe­ti­tion be­cause of dry weather in NSW and much of Queens­land.

As a re­sult the East­ern States Young Cat­tle In­di­ca­tor has fallen a fur­ther 10c/kg dur­ing the past week and MLA pre­dicts that the in­dex will fall to be­low 500c/kg within the next week.

Since July this in­di­ca­tor has fallen over 100c/kg and since the mid­dle of spring last year the in­di­ca­tor has fallen from just over 700c/kg to around 500c/kg as we speak.

In Tas­ma­nia, we are more for­tu­nate and although over­the-hooks prices for farm-as­sured stock have dropped we are way bet­ter off than our in­ter­state counter parts.

Cow prices have also come back although they are still very good, with most heavy cows mak­ing $1100 to $1500 per head, which is fan­tas­tic money for cows of culling age.

Agents in NSW tell me that if the fore­cast rains come to fruition re­stock­ers will reen­ter the mar­ket and stop the freefall in prices.

Last week­end there were some good rains in parts of south­ern Queens­land but way more is needed.

The Oc­to­ber out­look for rain in the north of the coun­try looks promis­ing. And as silly as it seems, rain in north­ern NSW and Queens­land will prob­a­bly have an ef­fect on our ex­port beef prices here in Tas­ma­nia.

In­ter­state lamb prices are hold­ing up very well, even with sup­plies in­creas­ing weekly.

Most lamb av­er­ages are around 600c/kg car­cass weight, which is very good for this time of the year.

It will be in­ter­est­ing to see what hap­pens as the next two months will see some big num­bers come through, par­tic­u­larly in western Vic­to­ria.

The lamb num­bers in NSW will also con­tinue to flow un­til it rains.

Lo­cally we are still many weeks away from new sea­son’s lambs record­ing big num­bers.

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