Young cattle prices hold

Victoria interest could hold cattle prices over summer in parts of NSW

Beef News
Elders livestock agent Andrew Bickford said prices for young cattle could hold into the summer months. Photo supplied by Central Tablelands Livestock Exchange, Carcoar.

Elders livestock agent Andrew Bickford said prices for young cattle could hold into the summer months. Photo supplied by Central Tablelands Livestock Exchange, Carcoar.

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Will Northern NSW markets run out of cattle?

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Across central and southern NSW markets, prices for young cattle are still holding on and could do into the summer months, but it's a different story in the extremely drought-affected north.

Livestock agent at Elders Bathurst, Andrew Bickford, said despite dry conditions the feeder and kill markets remained strong.

"There has been some congestion through late September to early October, but heavy cattle are selling very well and you can still get some decent money from the feedlots," Mr Bickford said.

"The EU steers are making around 335-345c/kg and non-EU steers at sitting around 320c/kg to 330c/kg."

He said if cattle had weight for the finished market there was good money to be made, with prime cattle for slaughter selling for 600-620c/kg.

"There are surprising numbers of cattle coming off crop that look very, very good, there are also cattle that have been supplementary fed," Mr Bickford said.

However, he said at Carcoar light heifers were continuing to sell to a cheaper market.

"Anything under 300kg has been hard to move," Mr Bickford said.

"But there has been some very good markets from down south, in southern Victoria and South Australia due to the pricing point being where it is at the moment."

He said although he thought the big sell-off had already happened, prices could hold into the summer.

"There could be buyers from SA and Vic that are looking to hit the market again," Mr Bickford said.

"I can't see it getting dearer, but I can see it holding pretty well.

"If it stays dry in our area we'll have a lot more cattle coming through because people aren't committed to feeding this year.

"They have been the past couple of years, but now it's just proving too expensive and not worth the reward at the end of the day."

It's a scenario Inverell livestock agent, Ben Lehman of Lehman Stock and Property said has hit home in the past few months up north.

"There's an odd few people supplementary feeding, but few and far between, most of the cattle are gone, people are back to their basics" Mr Lehman said.

He said the prices cattle were making in the saleyards was incredible given the state of the country.

"Little weaner steers are making up to 300c/kg and the best of the little weaner heifers are making 230c/kg," Mr Lehman said.

"The best of the yearling steers are making 280c/kg to 290c/kg, best of the heifers are making 265c/kg."

Mr Lehman said what would happen to the market over summer was fairly unknown with northern regions entering new territory as the drought continues to set in.

"We say we're never going to run out of cattle but this might be different," he said.

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