In the past 12 months alone, the herd has decreased some 7.7 per cent with the percentage of females liquidated at an all-time high.
The latest data shows the Australian cattle herd numbers are at their lowest since the turn of the century. Herd size has been revised down to just over 25 million units. This would come as no surprise with the dry, difficult seasonal conditions nationally the number one contributor. Add to that the losses in the north earlier this year, which are expected to be up towards 700,000 head. In the past 12 months alone, the herd has decreased some 7.7 per cent with the percentage of females liquidated at an all-time high.
Any way you look at it, the rebuild on return to normal season conditions will be slow. Having said that, the fact that we still have 25 million head as a starting point is a positive. We might not restock with what we want, but we will find cattle to rebuild in time. As a client of mine once said, "You find the B...s somewhere".
According to Rabobank's Australian 2019 Beef Cattle Seasonal Outlook, beef producers, along with feedlots and processors, could witness a 20pc price increase if regions receive a decent drop. The bank went on to say that there was "simply not enough cattle in the system and, coupled with strong export fundamentals there is much upside for prices". Exactly! However, if the 2019 season is not better than 2018, they predict the EYCI to sit about 440-450ckg cwt.
Price stability across the processing sector has been beneficial to producers. Over the past month, the overall pricing for weight at works cattle has moved around 4 to 5pc higher. Yearling steers and heifers have increased and improved by up to 5pc along with CFA cows. 70-day grain-fed improved around 4pc but there was little to no change for 100-day grainfed over the same period. This demonstrates a demand and supply balance in the market. Difficult trading circumstances with markets having peaks and troughs always end up with more in the troughs than the peaks unfortunately.
Australians love elections and when the day has arrived with us all armed with the information we need to make an informed choice. Nowadays the sausage sizzle is an inducement to turn up to action our democratic right. Not so with our first ever election in 1843 where your vote preference was determined at the box and the following occurred:
Australia's first election day ended in violence and riots, including Sydney and Melbourne. Police and soldiers struggled to control drunken mobs armed with staves and pickets who tore down banners, demolished campaign booths, and smashed the doors and windows of nearby shops and houses. Two men were killed, one in Sydney and one in a country district, and many injured. Irishmen were prominent among the rioters, giving the violence a sectarian edge, but alcohol and the attraction of mayhem were the main causes. There was nothing unusual in this by English precedent and Governor George Gipps reported to London "The election in general went off very well".
The above is an extract from a book published by author Judith Brett: From Secret Ballot to Democracy Sausage: How Australia Got Compulsory Voting.
When cash was king, remember? A local wine and pizza café opened within walking distance of my place so off we go for a Sunday afternoon, order a beer and a wine and hand over a 50 and the lass says "Sorry sir, we only take card, no cash". "What, even for a beer?" I quizzed, and yes, card only was the reply. Lined up at Woolies the other day, one lad in front of me paid by card and two others popped their mobile phones on the register scanner and went through. I was becoming a little anxious so as I timidly approached the register I said to the lass "Do you take cash?" Thankfully, she said yes, much to my relief. Finally, I received a quote to have my tiles cleaned and reading the agreement and with all the various payment options available listed down the page i got to a final option where cash payment was acceptable with, wait for it, a 3pc handling fee. Cash is king no more.
- Brendan Wade: 0439 663 060, firstname.lastname@example.org