Domestic demand solid

Glimmers of hope as Covid-19 dictates prime prices

Markets
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Firm prices and domestic demand have maintained confidence in the NSW cattle job, while the Australian dollar at its lowest against the US dollar lends great hope for exports, once the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 is lifted.

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Cows weighing 646kg sold by Paul and Laura Cush, Warialda, through Lehman Stock and Property made 288c/kg or $1862 at Inverell prime cattle sale on Tuesday.

Cows weighing 646kg sold by Paul and Laura Cush, Warialda, through Lehman Stock and Property made 288c/kg or $1862 at Inverell prime cattle sale on Tuesday.

Firm prices and domestic demand have maintained confidence in the NSW cattle job, while the Australian dollar at its lowest against the US dollar lends great hope for exports, once the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 is lifted.

At Inverell prices were firm with an extra operator at the bidding rail. Best trade heifers to the butchers made 410c/kg. Top cows were 15c/kg dearer selling from 280c/kg to a top of 301c/kg reported by agent Ben Lehman.

Feeder steers were cheaper, mainly due to the fact that numbers weren't there.

"With all this panic buying people might not need as much meat on the coming weeks but who knows, we are in uncharted territory," Mr Lehman said.

"Meanwhile oats have been sown. Forage sorghum has been made into hayledge or silage and we're going into as good a winter as we've ever had."

Paul and Laura Cush, Warialda, sold prime Angus cows at Inverell on Tuesday for $1862 and relished the fact they held on and continued to feed expensive pellets. "We went to sell them before, when they would have been worth $500, but then they started calving. Now they have raised that calf and at today's prices we have actually made some money," Mr Cush said.

At Tamworth, Monday's prime market held up well although cows and export cattle were 20c/kg cheaper.

"Restockers and feeder cattle held firm," reported agent Chris Gooch. "Regardless of the panic people still have to eat and we've got plenty of cattle coming in."

At Wagga Wagga on Monday the need for rain and resulting lighter cattle delivered prices 5c/kg to 10c/kg cheaper, 265c/kg to 295c/kg for the better end. Meanwhile increased domestic demand on the back of panic buying saw feeder steers remaining firm, according to Riverina Livestock Agents director James Tierney.

Meanwhile, it appears the recent COVID-19 fears have led to a record increase of online offerings, according to Holly Baker from AuctionsPlus who said this may be due to physical saleyards enforcing restrictions on who can attend the sales.

The record for the largest offering of cattle in a day (set three weeks ago), was smashed with a total of 30,613 head offered on the online platform last Friday.

Ms Baker said southern Queensland also reclaimed its top position as the biggest purchasing region, securing 3615 head. The NSW North West Slopes and Plains picked up 2510 head, while the NSW Central West buyers secured 1362 head. Feedlots showed plenty of confidence in the cattle market and bought feeder steers weighing between 330kg and 400kg for 305c/kg to 448c/kg to average 375c/kg.

The Chard family, Pinkett via Glen Innes achieved the highest price for feeders steers on AuctionsPlus last week with Angus steers 331kg making 448c/kg.

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