Rain drops numbers and boosts prices

Prices for light cattle rise by 20c/kg in some saleyards following rain

Beef
Wagga Wagga's yarding dropped by more than 1000 head this week but prices rose by up to 20 cents a kilogram. Photo by Landmark Wagga Wagga.

Wagga Wagga's yarding dropped by more than 1000 head this week but prices rose by up to 20 cents a kilogram. Photo by Landmark Wagga Wagga.

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Wagga prime cattle sale saw numbers drop by 1325 head.

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Heavy rain has led to a drop in numbers and rise in prices at many saleyards across the state.

At Wagga Wagga numbers decreased by 1325 head for a yarding of 3575 cattle at Monday's sale and prices for light feeder steers rose by 10 to 20 cents a kilogram.

James Tierney of Riverina Livestock Agents said the change in numbers and prices was due to the good rain seen across the weekend, parts of the Riverina recording more than 60 millimetres.

"It's put water in dams and in the Eastern country and even closer to Wagga it will grow the feed a bit, they'll be a bit of Lucerne around," Mr Tierney said.

"It will give everyone a bit of faith that it can rain, it doesn't solve everything but gives that bit of hope."

Mr Tierney said generally it was good quality yarding of cattle with light, feeder steers selling particularly well.

"Little Angus cattle, weighing in the mid-200kgs made 270c/kg, cattle under 200kg were making close to 340c/kg," Mr Tierney said.

He said there was more feeder competition from the North this week and restockers were still mostly from Victoria.

At Forbes, it was a similar story, numbers this week dropped by more than half, down by 1015 head for a yarding of 985.

McCarrons agent, Adam Chudleigh said this was only partly due to rain.

"We only had 5-10 mm around the district but our Western supply area had a bit more so that reduced the numbers for sure," Mr Chudleigh said.

"But in general our numbers have dried up big time, we're just running out of cattle."

Mr Chudleigh said restocker cattle prices were very strong, selling up to 15c/kg dearer, with steers weighing around 200kg making from 250-290c/kg.

He said he thought the dearer prices would hold in the next few weeks due to lack of supply.

"The supply just can't be out there, we've been yarding 1800 to 2000 cattle each week but I think in the next month we'll be lucky to yard 1000," Mr Chudleigh said.

Tamworth agent, Chris Paterson said numbers had actually increased by 225 head at their saleyards due to rain, the area receiving around 20mm.

"It's put a few back in the market with producers hoping prices would rise after the rain," Mr Paterson said.

Mr Paterson said their restocker market also saw the largest price lift.

"There were 150kg calves that made up to 318c/kg, around 15c/kg dearer than last week," Mr Paterson said.

He said the cow market had remained strong while feeder cattle were a shade dearer, selling to 318c/kg.

"I think the prices should hold for the next couple of weeks," Mr Paterson said.

"It will just depend on whether they start predicting rain again or not."

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