Cow prices gather steam

Cow prices gather steam

Beef
Carter Lindsay and Weber stock agents selling a top line of 47 Angus cows from Coolah that made 263.2c/kg at Dubbo prime sale last Thursday. Photo: Rebecca Sharpe

Carter Lindsay and Weber stock agents selling a top line of 47 Angus cows from Coolah that made 263.2c/kg at Dubbo prime sale last Thursday. Photo: Rebecca Sharpe

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A significant number of cows in the marketplace have been going to processors including many better, heavier runs, with restockers able to competing in the medium to lighter runs of cattle.

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COMPETITION between processors and restockers for cows has led to a dearer trend across NSW, despite varying supplies in the different regions.

A significant number of cows in the marketplace have been going to processors including many better, heavier runs, with restockers able to competing in the medium to lighter runs of cattle.

Meat and Livestock Australia NSW indicators show medium cows averaged 196.6 cents a kilogram this week, a change of 9.4c/kg on last week. There was a definite discrepancy between the northern and southern selling centres, with cows in the south quoted at 210.4c/kg, in the Hunter 201.1c/kg and in the central west and in the north at 194.6c/kg.

Carter Lindsay and Weber agent Matthew Weber, Dubbo, said there had been some very good runs of cows in the central region. "Processors have definitely been trying to buy the better runs of cows, but there has also been restocker interest in plain cows that are making close to 200c/kg," Mr Weber said.

Big numbers of cows offered at Dubbo were met with competition that pushed prices up 17c/kg to 20c/kg for the better finished pens. The top line of Angus cows from Coolah made 263c/kg, while another pen of 15 black baldy cows from the Thompson family, Wellington, sold for 260.2c/kg.

At Wagga Wagga the cow market increase was sharply driven by a shortage of stock, according to the National Livestock Reporting Service.

Bob Jamieson Agencies agent Keiran te Velde said processor and restocker activity had strengthened in the past week, despite numbers being reduced, resulting in rises up to 20/kg.

"Before that 80 per cent or more of herds up here have been sold, and of that probably only about 3pc of that went back to the paddock," he said. "Restocker activity is from people with feed yards looking to fatten cows on grain for the kill market. There has also been a southern influence in the restocker market."

Moree agent Ben Hiscox, also with Bob Jamieson Agencies, said the demand from southern NSW and Victoria was pushing saleyard prices up on prime cows.

"Numbers are easing due to them being out of the system, but we are seeing southern and Victorian competitors buying the bulk of the heavy cows because their market is going so well, so they are taking them back for processing," Mr Hiscox said.

In the Hunter region where the cow market was previously static and unable to crack 200c/kg, prices this week were dearer according to Roger Fuller from Roger Fuller Pty Ltd, Singleton.

"The market would be 10c/kg to 15c/kg dearer, with one pen of Charbray cows making 245c/kg and even plainer cows dearer," Mr Fuller said.

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