Big year ahead for our cattle
Look back at 2018 markets
THE promise of more rainfall and a rising confidence in the cattle market across Queensland and NSW is bolstering faith in improved conditions for 2019.
Brad McInally, who is an auctioneer and runs Monto Cattle and Country with his wife Donna, said the current market was “solid without booming”.
“But certainly we went through a dry period there and things got tough.”
He said it had been hard to sell “plain” types of cattle, but the market had held firm for better quality cattle and types that met the market specifications.
Mr McInally said he felt positive about the new year.
“Hopefully we do get a bit of rain, but I think the market will stay firm and I think it will stay positive for a few years.
“The population is growing all the time and people have got to eat.
“We’re coming towards the wet season and people in the west have missed out on much of the rain, but hopefully they’re getting a bit now and they’ll continue to get some more.”
He said that locally crops had been planted and hay was growing “whereas two months ago there was nothing”.
Recent dry conditions in surrounding areas had affected the local market and Rob Bygrave, who owns Topx North Burnett with his wife Trish, said it had been so dry that it had been “a bit restricted as to where you sell your cattle to”.
He said he was looking forward to further rain which would improve conditions as well as the potential to send cattle into a better market area.
“If everybody gets good rain then the markets will realign again.
“It’ll set the year up pretty well and people will be able to restock and go back to their normal growing patterns.”
Mr Bygrave said that, around March this year, cattle were being offloaded from northern NSW.
“Our season had been really good but it stopped after that and people bought the cheaper cattle from further away.
“We’ve managed the seasons quite well but there’s a lot of areas around that really need the feed.”
He said prices and markets, while stable in one region, were often dictated by the situation elsewhere.
“Our area has been so fortunate and the whole of last year we have been in a bit of a bubble compared to the south, west and other areas.
❝ Certainly we went through a dry period there and things got tough. — Brad McInally
“We’re just hoping that everything gets a bit wet this year and everyone will be in the same situation.”
Stephanie Whitaker, co-owner of Burnett Livestock and Realty, said the market was “looking pretty strong” for 2019, and had improved compared to this time last year.
“We’ve had the rain in October and some just a week ago as well as more forecast this weekend.
“I think the new year will look quite strong as long as we get the rain.”
She said the flow-on effect of the drought in NSW meant the market had suffered during the year with Queensland properties sourcing cheaper cattle from NSW sellers.
“Just because there’s rain locally doesn’t mean the market’s going to lift. We’ve had a cold, dry winter this year so people were finding it tough to get things growing again and were waiting for that rain in October.
“For 2019, I think it’s shaping up to be strong again and I think demand will be there, especially if we continue to get good falls of rain.
“It would be great if all those drought declared areas were lifted – that would be wonderful because demand for cattle would go through the roof.
“Now is the time when cattle start to put on weight and get that shine about them.
“If we get a decent wet over Christmas and new year then the market will open up strong again in January.”
Mrs Whitaker said she was expecting a successful sale at the Annual All Breeds Steer Sale on February 14.
BIG HOPES FOR 2019: Biggenden Saleyards owner Stephanie Whitaker gave an update on the $3.7 million saleyards redevelopment at the North Burnett Agricultural Network Meeting in November 2018.
Good results at the Eidsvold cattle sale.
MOOVING FORWARD: Vendors at Monto, Biggenden and Eidsvold look forward to a big 2019. PHOTOS: CONTRIBUTED