BEEF producers have been panic-talking about foot and mouth disease while prime market prices are in correction mode and plenty are using the news as an excuse to off-load cattle. However, the seasonal situation seems to be directing the real course of the market, rather than raw emotion.
Agents were nervously anticipating some sort of price slide in the wake of weekend gossip at Tamworth sale on Monday, "but at the end of the sale we were pleasantly surprised," said Scott Simshauser, Ray White Tamworth.
"There was no panic. Prices were consistent with a winter's yarding.
"We were content with the prices paid for our cattle," he said. "It was reasonable although the lighter weaners were cheaper on the back of a tough winter.
"There are plenty of conversations about FMD but the yarding was typical for this time of year and there is still a margin to restock with lighter cattle.
"The majority are sticking to their production plan."
If anything, prior market disruption has set the tone of the downturn in bids. Mr Simshauser said a lot of producers reacted quickly to rising input costs and scaled back their winter production.
"As a result we could see a shortage of cattle off crop during August and September," he said.
At Inverell on Tuesday the 856 head offered to the prime market sold to a cheaper trend, following on from declining prices this past month.
"There's a fair few numbers getting about now that it's mid-winter and the season's oat crop has been a failure for many," said agent Ben McMahon, Lehman Stock and Property, noting that local dynamics were behind the easing demand rather than any fear of the unknown FMD.
"It's more that it's too wet and too cold. Producers are offloading cattle because winter has set in hard. I see most producers continuing with their cattle program as they normally would."
Mr McMahon said the price climate presented opportunities on Tuesday for game buyers, mostly local, who were prepared to grow out the lighter cattle.
In the lead up to Wednesday's prime sale at Casino's Northern Rivers Livestock Exchange, agents received an earful from concerned clients.
"Honestly producers are panicking," said agent Jasen Somerville, George and Fuhrmann. "In fact there's too much of it but it's all just panic talk.
"Our weaner calf sell-off period is gone and we're into the quiet period for the next six months. As a result most producers will stick with their normal program."
Mr Somerville said FMD fears were very real, given the magnitude of the disease threat. "Our biosecurity in Australia is not nearly strong enough," he said.
MOSS VALE: (605 head) Vealers: 366-370; Yearling steers: 75-551; Yearling heifers: 200-550; Grown steers: 200-540; Grown heifers: 382-495; Cows: 208-355.
CAMDEN: (295 head) Vealers: 395-525; Yearling steers: 400-564; Yearling heifers: 370-548; Grown steers: 310-330; Grown heifers: n/q; Cows: 150-345.
MAITLAND: (500head) Vealers: 400-662; Yearling steers: 460-555; Yearling heifers: 430-510; Grown steers: n/q; Grown heifers: 340-370; Cows: 200-336.
MUDGEE: (490 head) Vealers: 500-579; Yearling steers: 420-561; Yearling heifers: 380-551; Grown steers: 380-537; Grown heifers: 330-430; Cows: 150-368.
NOWRA: (89 head) Vealers: 372-552; Yearling steers: n/q; Yearling heifers: 422-554; Grown steers: n/q; Grown heifers: n/q; Cows: n/q.
Vealer - M and H Swords, Mount Frome, (ML), 418, 574, 2401; Binderra, Grattai, (ML), 435, 527, 2292.
Yearling steers - Robert Stein Winery, Mudgee, (ML), 625, 478.2, 2988; Flynn Family, Piambong, (CSL), 339, 511.2,1732.97. Yearling heifers - Robert Stein Winery, Mudgee, (ML), 650, 411, 2671; M and KS Burns, Meroo, (CSL), 350, 551.2, 1929.20.
Steers - NP and TN Obrien, Rylstone, (ML), 660, 350, 2310; Flynn Family, Piambong, (CSL), 400, 450, 1800. Heifers - B and R Mackander, Rylstone, (ML), 625, 390, 2437; D Hobbs, Tudor Hills, (CSL), 610, 380, 2318.
Cows - White Grazing, Mudgee, (ML), 800, 368.6, 2948; Flynn Family, Piambong, (CSL), 665, 360, 2394.
Steers - Thornton Settlement, Dubbo, (BPD), 328.6, 582.2, 1913.32; M and M Noonan, Nevertire, (NUT), 385, 576.2, 2218.37; Alexia Knight, Dubbo, (ELD), 370.9, 568.2, 2107.51; PJ and KM Munro, Yeoval, (CHC), 389, 568.2, 2210.30.
Heifers - M and M Noonan, Nevertire, (NUT), 376.1, 538.2, 2024.23; MM Pastoral, Millthorpe, (CLW), 499.7, 480, 2398.67; Benah P/C, Coonamble, (ELD), 570, 430, 2451.
Cows - Robert Pack, Nyngan, (ELD), 646, 370, 2390.2.
Dubbo Lambs and Sheep
Lambs - DG Court and NM Mines-Court, Ballimore, (PTL), 258.20; Shanks Farms, Dubbo, CHC), 248; WM and TE Bowman, Tooraweenah, (CPS), 248; M and M Brennan, Toongi, (RWR), 245; DG Court and NM Mines-Court, Ballimore, (PTL), 243; BJ and JR Irons, Tambar Springs, (CHC), 240.
Wethers - Chad Wool, (RSD), 202.2. Ewes: Gillawarrina Ag, Trangie, (BPD), 190; Harvey P/S, Wellington, (P&C), 188.
Wagga Wagga Cattle
Weaners - AJ and AR Keenan, Tumut, (ROD), 284.4, 598.2, 1701.13.
Yearling steers - TE and PM Fletcher, Eucumbene, (ELD), 382.8, 6552.2, 2114.14; W Allen, Adelong, (WMLP), 456.5, 542, 2474.44. Yearling heifers - RM and SG Fairley, Jugiong, (FRAN), 353, 534.2, 1885.00; Bargunyah P/C, Ivanhoe, (ELD), 399.7, 520, 2078.38.
Steers - N and A Alcorn, Harden, (ELD) 505.33, 530.20, 2679.28. Heifers - IE and TE Hill, Marrar, (WRL), 451, 522, 2359.
Cows - Tolldale Gunning, Gunning, (ELD), 687.5, 375.2, 2579.5; Jilga P/C, Lockhart, (BLK), 738, 375.2, 2770.
Wagga Wagga Lambs and Sheep
Lamb - Glenvale F/T, Ganmain, (RLA), 286; Glenvale F/T, Ganmain, (RLA), 280.2; GF and GM Star, Young, (FRAN), 276; A and L Quinn, Ganmain, (NUT), 273.
Wethers - JG and AE Crawford, Cootamundra, (ELD), 170; Ewes - AS Ford, West Wyalong, (DEL), 220.2.
Steers - Mark Clifton, Grenfell, (VCR), 411.7, 579.6, 2386.02; JJ Peters, Forbes, (KMW), 474.5, 550.2, 2610.70; Reedy Creek Part, Parkes, (ALH), 416.3, 534.2, 2223.61; GF and EJ Bishop, Cowra, (KMW), 347.1, 528.0, 1832.91; K and S Gregory, Manildra, (MCC), 468, 520, 2433.6.
Heifers - Johnston Farming, Forbes, (FLA), 429.4, 495.0, 2125.41; MR and K Heinzel, Eugowra, (FLA), 450, 490, 2205; KSE Farming, Bourke, (FLA), 445, 480, 2136; GF and EJ Bishop, Cowra, (KMW), 346.7, 460, 1594.67.
Cows - NC and HM Harvey, Condobolin, (ALH), 743.3, 373.2, 2774.12; MR and K Heinzel, Eugowra, (FLA), 710, 363.2, 2578.72.
Forbes Lambs and Sheep
Suckers - Mitchell F/T, Cudal, (MCC), 209. Lambs - Bon Accord Partner, Tullamore, (FLA), 273; Chris Petropoulos, Forbes, (FLA), 271; Westwood Grazing, Spicers Creek, (FLA), 266.
Wethers - RU Gosper P/L, Manildra, (MCC), 188. Ewes - Bon Accord, Tullamore, (FLA), 196; M and M Willmott, Forbes, (FLA), 196.
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