Cat­tle go south

NSW, QLD cat­tle head straight to pro­ces­sors

Warwick Daily News - South West Queensland Rural Weekly - - News -

DROUGHT in NSW and Queens­land is push­ing large num­bers of cat­tle to pro­ces­sors, but just small num­bers are ex­pected at Vic­to­rian sa­le­yards.

While a wave of cat­tle from NSW and Queens­land has been head­ing south, big runs of cat­tle have by­passed sa­le­yards to be sold di­rect to the works.

The Ru­ral Weekly un­der­stands that be­tween 2000 and 3000 cat­tle a week have been spelled at prop­er­ties near De­niliquin, NSW in the past cou­ple of months.

The break in the jour­ney was to feed and rest the stock be­fore head­ing to pro­cess­ing works.

But agents be­lieve the big­gest surge of stock has al­ready come, with less­en­ing num­bers eas­ing the pres­sure on prices.

El­ders’ Ron Rut­ledge said most stock had been sold.

“I feel like the num­bers we have seen come south have largely al­ready been sent, so this is like a last hur­rah,” Mr Rut­ledge said.

“We’ve seen a high pro­por­tion of cat­tle com­ing from south­ern Queens­land, western and north­ern NSW to south­ern pro­ces­sors.

“But if you fly from Mil­dura to Bro­ken Hill, as I have done re­cently, you won’t see a lot of stock on any sta­tions there at all — they are pretty much all gone.”

Aus­tralian Meat In­dus­try Coun­cil chief ex­ec­u­tive Pa­trick Hutchin­son said pro­ces­sors had “full books all the way up the east coast”.

“There is not a tsunami of cat­tle head­ing from the north to the south as there are plenty of cat­tle be­ing pro­cessed in north­ern Aus­tralia as well,” Mr Hutchin­son said.

He said many pro­duc­ers were sell­ing down herds af­ter the hot sum­mer and dry au­tumn. There have been some cat­tle from drought ar­eas in Vic­to­ria at store mar­kets over the past month as ven­dors seek bet­ter prices from re-stock­ers.

Cat­tle from Goul­burn, NSW, were of­fered at Mort­lake, Westen Vic­to­ria, this month and drafts at Wodonga’s store sale last week were from Barraba and Bourke, in far western NSW with one ven­dor alone quit­ting nearly 600 cat­tle. Paull and Scol­lard’s Stephen Paull sold drought-af­fected cat­tle from north­ern NSW last week in the com­pany’s store sale but said he did not be­lieve there were large num­bers on the way.

“We get the feel­ing that a lot of pro­duc­ers fur­ther north have al­ready sold what they were go­ing to sell,” he said.

—Fiona Myers

❝There is not a tsunami of cat­tle head­ing from the north to the south — Pa­trick Hutchin­son

PHOTO: ER­ICA MURREE

SOUTHWARDS PUSH: Large num­bers of cat­tle from drought af­fected ar­eas in south­ern Queens­land, western and north­ern NSW that have been mov­ing di­rectly into pro­ces­sors in south­ern states, by­pass­ing sa­le­yards.

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