The storm season each year brings the same predictable outcomes. Thunder, lightning and the unfortunate damage to assets and property where they strike. We prepare, watch and every year we pray we all miss the nasties that accompany the end of spring and the start of summer. The results for the livestock market are as predictable as the storm season, it fires up.
This past fortnight across New South Wales and Queensland, the areas lucky enough to be hit with the storms and the accompanying limited amount of rain have seen livestock markets improve dramatically.
Breeder cows of all ages have seen improvements from 20c to 50c/kg for suitable lightweight offerings. Weaner steers across the board have had improvements and seen restockers like rates by up to 20c/kg. Lightweight heifers (that nobody wants in a drought) have had improvements up to 30c/kg live weight.
Processors have not sat idle and are matching physical rates in the saleyards as they scramble to fill spaces vacated by lucky producers. For bullocks and heavy cows, while the increases have not been as dramatic as the restocker market, have had improvements up to 15c/kg live weight depending on type and condition.
Processor type livestock rates appear to have stabilised towards the upside and are set to be maintained in the short term. One sees very little to the downside as plants struggle for suitable numbers in the lead-up to the Christmas break.
Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) is a vital source of information for many red meat producers and has more than 50,000 members across the country.
One of the most valuable services provided on a daily basis is the National Livestock Reporting Service (NLRS). This service covers more than 70 physical markets each week and has a team of 26 market reporters covering all states of the country. There is an administration support team based in the Sydney office that ensures each day that these daily livestock market reports are available in the evening on the MLA website and other platforms.
These market reporters are also responsible for collating the daily on-air briefings to the ABC country hour along with commercial radio and print media (our very own QCL included). Some reporters provide livestock reports for up to seven radio stations.
This week, all were gathered in Sydney for the annual two-day conference. Outgoing MD Richard Norton addressed the group along with chief marketing officer Lisa Sharp. Importantly, stakeholders and levy payers were invited to brief the group on the importance of the service that is available and how they use the information provided to make marketing decisions and following the trends that become evident as one researches the data provided.
Garry McAllister from the Fresh Food People, Woolworths, was ‘live’ while Garry Edwards, from the AMA group, was on video link as he was opening his eighth regional saleyard marketing complex at Ballarat in Victoria.
Levy payers from Central Queensland and Victoria engaged in the conference via video-link and gave an insight into how they extract value from this vital reporting service and work with their local agent/buyer to determine their marketing options.
Congratulations to Jake Kennedy from Elders Clermont the winner of the 2018 ALPA Fairfax Media Agency Award. Jake is the branch manager at Elders Clermont and when you consider that he has been involved in the agency for less than five years this is a remarkable achievement. Jake, from Orange in NSW, joined the Elders trainee program in 2014 after securing an ag science degree at Wagga Wagga. He then headed to Julia Creek to secure cattle experience as a ringer, where his brother was also working, and spent time in branches at Emerald, Longreach and Forbes before making Clermont home base. Jake has a real sense of community involvement, loves the place, and is testament to a successful Elders trainee program.