Last week I had a trip through regional Victoria doing a couple of presentations and visiting some livestock marketing centres. While the cattle market seems to be balancing out and holding at current values, for the first time in a while finished heavier steers and bullocks are trending higher and in fact in some centres are making more than weaner steers. Restockers are cautions for obvious reasons.
In the past we have paid significantly more for replacement stock and when the time comes to sell the finished heavier steers and bullocks the profit margin has been negligible. There is only so much one can take of that. Some areas in the south have received worthwhile moisture - not much for grass growth, but crops will benefit in the short term. I have no doubt the supply of finished heavier cattle is tightening and processors will find it difficult to secure supplies as we make our way through the winter months, which could lead to price increases through the year.
I have no doubt the supply of finished heavier cattle is tightening and processors will find it difficult to secure supplies.
Sheep and lamb markets continue to strengthen with new records being achieved on a daily basis. Last week Horsham and Wagga set new records for lamb and sheep meats as processors compete aggressively for product. The new Australian record was set at Griffith on Friday. A draft of 82 second cross Dorset lambs sold for $345 a head on account of the Hoskinson family, Kikoira. They were 10 months of age and estimated to dress 43kg/cwt. The previous record set at Dubbo in September was $344. Mutton is also attracting premium prices and this is expected to continue with demand from China to increase.
Live exports is still moving quietly about the Top End with the expectation that numbers nationally will exceed one million units for the calendar year 2019. Feeder steers delivered Townsville are attracting 260c/kg live and heifers 225c/kg live. The latest price indicated for an Indonesian order out of Cloncurry is also around 260c live. Compare this to last week's Emerald sale where similar weight steers and heifers made 271c and 194c live respectively where quality was an easing factor with some lines. The heavy exports orders for Vietnam continue to roll in with steers commanding 295c and bulls 285c live.
Thank god for live export feeder orders out of the north. Imagine if we had to absorb those numbers coming down through central and southern Queensland and northern NSW with the current seasonal conditions.
The federal election result surprised most of the country except true believers. On the morning of the election a mate rang and said we could get as much as 8 to 1 for a coalition victory. Now I know he partakes of the "squashed grape" most evenings, but I thought he must have had an "all -nighter" coming up with those prices. One thing is for sure, when a politician in future tells you that the only poll that matters is the one on election day, trust me, they are telling the truth for a change.
My final comment on the result. Some news organisations are reporting that Bill Shorten still harbours aspirations to again lead the Labor party and fulfil his childhood ambition to become Prime Minister. Both Bill and Albo have declared there is no such issue and that there will be no sniping, undermining or back stabbing by the former leader of the Labor leadership team. Fair dinkum, how many times have we heard that over the past 10 years?
The Stradbroke Handicap is on this Saturday at the headquarters for Queensland Racing, Eagle Farm, and a host of rural and regional identities will be in town. The committee and management have copped plenty of flack over the years, but now, all is forgiven as the winter racing carnival again is a magnet for the best thoroughbreds in the country.
- Brendan Wade: 0439 663 060, email@example.com