The Mirror News

Buoyant beef prices

IN GREAT news for farmers and the local economy in general, cattle prices at recent markets have soared to some of the highest levels in years.

Stock agent David Phelan of David Phelan & Co could hardly contain his excitement after last Wednesday’s fat sale at Leongatha. “We’ve seen Angus bullocks make at least $2.30 a kilo live weight and heavy Hereford bullocks make $2.15 a kilo live weight,” he said. “There’s been a big jump in prices in a matter of weeks.”

The buoyant market, said Mr Phelan, meant around $1512 each for 24 Hereford bullocks which had an average weight of 707kg and sold for around 214 cents per kg.

On behalf of Bob Vardy of Alberton he sold an 895kg Friesian bullock for $1.97 per kg, realising $1763.

“We’ve hopefully reached a new level of pricing and I hope these prices will continue,” said Mr Phelan, calculating the prices were the best for 40 years. “It will be great for the general economy in the bush. It will keep the dollars flowing in the local economy.”

Stock agent Owen Kindellan from SEJ Leongatha said cattle prices had gone up 20 to 30 cents a kilo since Christmas. He said he was very pleased to report back to his clients.

“There’s been a big rise on Friesian bullocks and crossbred steers,” he said. “Yearly cattle have also taken a big jump. The clients need these results to keep going.”

The high prices can be attributed to a number of factors, including the low value of the Australian dollar at present. Then there’s the matter of supply and demand. There’s a strong demand for protein on the international market, but not so many farmers are selling. Many parts of northern Australia – and even northern and western Victoria – have experienced a long period of drought, when farmers were forced to sell much of their cattle. Finally the rains have come – and the farmers don’t want to sell. Meanwhile, here in South Gippsland, rainfall is generally reliable and there’s been another strong season.

“In the short term, at least, it looks positive,” said Mr Kindellan happily.


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