The Australian Livestock and Property Agents Association (ALPA) have been the guardians of the livestock marketing terms and conditions of auction sales for an eternity. They are the agreed upon rules that protect all involved in the livestock auction system supply chain, vendors, buyers and agents. If issues arise where conditions need to be amended, they can be, as an industry, not individually.
Currently the auction terms and conditions of sale require notification from processors that if an animal they purchased is found to be unfit for human consumption at a processor's plant by the plant veterinarian they have seven (7) days to advise the selling agent and/or the vendor.
JBS has requested an extension to 10 days and the ALPA board has rejected this request because it believes the current seven-day window is adequate for all processors.
The saleyards provide price discovery and a barometer of market activity and it is vital to have all processors participating.
In response JBS has indicated to livestock marketing agents and ALPA, where they feel they are unable to process the purchased stock within that period, they will most likely not attend that particular sale.
Two issues here need to be recognised. Firstly, all livestock must be processed as soon as reasonably possible once they leave farm gate and I am sure all processors are acutely aware of that responsibility. Secondly, every saleyard needs maximum competition from all processors.
The saleyards provide price discovery and a barometer of market activity and it is vital to have all processors participating. The industry needs this solved for the sake of all producers.
The national sheep flock, in line with the national cattle herd forecast I commented on last week, is in line for further contraction for similar reasons, flock liquidation due to a run of ordinary seasons. The flock currently sits around 65 million head. At the turn of the century, the numbers were close to double that figure at 120 million head.
A major contributing factor is that since 2000 there has been a real transition to meat production in preference to wool production. In 2000, the annual ewe income was for wool $23 and lamb $41 to total $64. Moving forward to 2017/18, the annual ewe income for wool is $52 and lamb $158 to total $210. This appears to be a growing trend that will continue and while the wool price has recovered to acceptable levels, the reality is, the figures do not lie.
The drought conditions coupled with the higher slaughter during 2018 for both meat sheep and lambs will see forecast lamb slaughter to be at the lowest point since 2012. Extensive ewe culling (including lambs) and lower marking rates underlines at least a 7 per cent decline in lamb slaughter for 2019 at about 21 million units. Mutton production will see a decline of up to 16pc on previous year's production levels. The positives out of the depreciating numbers of sheep is that there is significant international demand for our product. China imports a large proportion of our mutton and with the lower Aussie dollar plus a shortage of available pork in China internally and by way of imports from their current suppliers, our sheepmeat market should remain strong in the medium term.
Charters Towers conducted their first store cattle sale for five years last Friday with a yarding of 3800 head and all sold to a stronger market. The regular supply areas of Normanton, Croydon, Mt Surprise, Greenvale and Tully provided the bulk of the yarding. Steers sold to a top of 300c/kg live and heifers to 234c a/c the Taylor family. Cows and calves a/c the Catalano family returned the pleasing amount of $1230/unit to indicate that the north is keen to restock. The next sale is scheduled for May 24.
The latest betting odds on the federal election this Saturday is Labor $1.25 and the Conservatives at $4.50. That will "Shorten" on the day! Remember only one snag sandwich at the polling booths not like some who have one on the way in and one on the way out.
- Brendan Wade: 0439 663 060, email@example.com