BUYER laneway traffic has increased dramatically with prospective buyers at regional saleyards since rain has turned the hopes of many positively, and processors compete with restockers for some categories at prime cattle sales.
So much so, that 60-plus kilogram calves sold at Gunnedah on Tuesday for 500 cents a kilogram.
P.T. Lord, Dakin and Associates auctioneer, Mark Garland, Dubbo, said the market had got very dear very quickly.
"But what's dear today is cheap tomorrow," he said.
"The light veal job at Casino is now over the 300c/kg mark for calves when they were just 200c/kg before Christmas. There would be some resockers paying 600c/kg and not realise it as they look at dollars-per-head."
Mr Garland said restockers were pushing processors hard for females and that trend would continue as rain continues.
"The feeder job is very dear too. Hook contracts at Whyalla, South Australia, started the year off at 340/ckg for 400kg weaners and on Wednesday morning 390c/kg delivered Whyalla."
He said as there was a big mark-up for grassfed cattle on the other side for processors, there were plenty of restockers prepared to put their front foot forward as well on contracts.
"Heavy cattle are hard to find and processors have cockies up their ribs on the kill end, and on the feeder end because the grassfed market is nearly as strong as the grainfed beast to kill at present."
Forbes agent, Luke Whitty of Kevin Miller Whitty Lennon and Company, said the widespread rain had "absolutely exploded" and the industry had seen "unbelievable gains" for restocking cattle in the past fortnight.
"Upwards of 100c/kg to 150c/kg increase in some grades of weaner cattle, a lot of money per head," he said.
"But restocking is a little bit different to what the meatworks and processors are doing and how they calculate.
"However, demand will create the market and the shortage of supply will add to the competition, and that's what this weather has created - a shortage of supply."
Mr Whitty said prime grades had rose to 350c/kg to 355c/kg for 400kg-plus cattle.
"Then on the other side, lighter feedlot steers made 387c/kg at Forbes, then 411c/kg at Carcoar on Tuesday."
Mr Whitty said female buying has only just started.
"The cow/calf and preg-tested cow markets last Friday on AuctionsPlus was still about level-pegging on what those animals were worth to kill.
"Some centres got up to 310c/kg to 320c/kg for fat cows, and when the calf is added that equates to $2400 for a 600kg cow to get split and the restocker market wasn't there last week at that level. I think you'll see people prepared to pay over their split level from this Friday."