Cows are moving on up

Cow market surges with records smashed across the state

Beef News
H Francis and Company agents Alex Croker, Scott Meyers and David Kosa at Wagga Wagga with a pen of 720kg Hereford cows which sold for 363c/kg on Monday.

H Francis and Company agents Alex Croker, Scott Meyers and David Kosa at Wagga Wagga with a pen of 720kg Hereford cows which sold for 363c/kg on Monday.

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Lack of supply and falling Aussie dollar drive up export market.

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A significant lack of numbers and increase in demand from overseas markets has pushed cow prices to reach a new level in the past week, with saleyard records breaking up and down the state.

The prices, which pushed over 380 cents a kilogram, were also helped by the Australian dollar falling to its lowest point for the past year, down to US73 cents.

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A 1070 head yarding (numbers down by 434) helped cow prices jump 20c/kg to top at 387c/kg at Carcoar on Tuesday.

Ray White Emms Mooney director Ben Emms said while the falling Aussie dollar had helped the export market, the biggest factor was supply - the shortage of cows driving the spike in prices.

"That's unlikely to change in the near future," Mr Emms said.

"The cows could be selling for 400c/kg plus, but it will be making no difference to the number of cows for sale.

"The only pens of cows we're seeing are empty, no one is selling cows in calf or would even consider it, no matter the price."

Nutrien agent Scott Cooper sold a pen of Santa Gertrudis cows, 631kg, to a southern processor for 357.2c/kg, returning $2256 at Gunnedah on Tuesday. The price is believed to be a saleyard record on a cents a kilogram basis.

Mr Cooper said the sale was in line with what was happening everywhere.

"The cattle market is phenomenally dear at the moment due to supply and demand, lack of numbers and a very good season across a large part of the eastern seaboard," Mr Cooper said.

Mr Cooper said the cow shortage was because of both the time of year, with most cows calving or with a calf at foot, and the ongoing herd rebuild.

"I think the herd rebuild could take up to five years and that's five years of good continued seasons as well," he said.

At Wagga Wagga wet weather meant numbers declined by 640 head for a 1760 head yarding.

Despite not all processors operating cows were at least 5c/kg dearer, selling up to 375c/kg.

H Francis and Company agent Alex Croker said most of the cows presented weighed 650kg to 750kg.

"Because the past 12 months have been good for the pasture country, a lot of those cows have that extra weight in them," he said.

"Back in the drought when you were quoting heavy cows you would have been quoting 600kg cows, but now your heavy cows are 650kg to 750kg. There's not many even coming in under 600kg."

He said export demand had lifted about a month ago with certain overseas markets opening back up.

"I think it will stay up there for winter, who knows what spring does but you can't see it dropping off too much, I just don't think the numbers will be there."

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