Cattle prices tumble further
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.