Cashing in on market highs

The cattle market has climbed above 600 cents a kilogram (carcase weight) for the first time as restockers and lot feeders battle for cattle at prime sales.THEcattle market has opened at similar rates to pre-festive period with Eastern Young Cattle Indicator (EYCI)finally passing the 600 cents a kilogram (carcase weight)pushed by the feeder and restocker demand.
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The local slaughter supply is down on numberswhich is keeping the rates similar to the feeder types.

At the same time, quality trade cattle are hard to find since the markets opened with no urgency by producers to yard their stock hoping the rate will get better.

The southern weaner sales have kicked off with expected rates for the offering ofsteer calves at 340c/kg to 360c/kg (liveweight), heifers 310c/kg to 340c/kg with a few quality lines 10c/kg better.

All the demand is coming from the feeder market with a greater proportion going to NSWespecially the north experiencing a more favourable season.

Specialist live orders have also bolstered the weaner markets while the Asian destinations are quiet due to the seasonal conditions.

The export scene is a little gloomy for 2106 with the USnot at all interested at this stage and many markets slow mainly due to money problems.

But with reduced export cattle available and processors keen to maintain production levels, this market could dip but still give afavourable producer return.

The lowering dollar will also come into play to keep the producer happy.

The lamb job has dropped since markets opened mainly due lack of quality, with the season turning against the farmer.

The extended hotconditions have meant lambs have lost moisture especially the late new season suckers.

There’s an opportunity for restockers to shear and market later as Ibelieve export demand should stay strong in the next couple of months.

The shorn lamb offering is showing more consistent quality, the export scene is steady with similar rates to the local trade, so it will be interesting to see if demand picks up with the Australia day lamb promotion.

I get calls from producers asking me “when do Isell my stock?”and Ianswer, “when they are ready” – Itell thempicking markets is a dangerous pass time,

The mutton market has improved since opening after Christmas with rates aboutthe 280c/kg to300c/kg (carcase weight) mark.

Seasonal conditions will determine what happens -if it stays dry increased yardings will threaten returns.

A critical shortage of local pork has caused supply problems with the increased Asian population relying on their local butcher for their traditional cuts the domestic wholesaler has had difficulty keeping up with demand.

With a favourable feed grain price available the pig producer may see a profit this year which has been missing for some time.

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