Welcome to the very first instalment of our regional round-up – StockCo’s monthly chance for you to find out exactly what’s going on in the livestock industry across Australia.
|National overview – Chris Howie
Victoria and New South Wales are currently in a great feed position – if another rain rolls through they’ll have a green summer. Queensland, on the other hand, could do with more rain in parts, and South Australia and Western Australia have seen rain ruin a lot of dry feed. This means they’ll be looking at feeding earlier than usual. Overall the national outlook is very positive compared to this time last year, when lots of areas were still enduring three years of drought.Due to limited supply, cattle pricing is currently at an all-time record high, with sheep and lamb holding at about normal levels and predicted to move upwards in the next six weeks. We’re seeing an increase in producers realising how much equity is tied up in their livestock – they can use that money to pay their debt down or manage new projects within their business. This is a great opportunity for producers – and in general, it’s an optimistic time for the industry.
|Queensland – Angus Creedon
The predicted La Nina deluge is resulting in a real mix of conditions across Queensland right now, and on the whole the state is quite dry. Queensland does tend to get rain into March and April, however, so we’re still hopeful for more.Right now, some areas are receiving great rains and are buying stock, whereas others are seeing patchier results and having to sell.New South Wales is taking stock into that part of the world – and that demand means cattle prices are still great, as currently the national herd is still the lowest it’s been since the 60s.Finally, we’re really looking forward to Beef Week 2021 in Rockhampton in May – it’s going to be a great chance to catch up with customers and friends across the industry.
|NSW – Toby Hammond
Right now in NSW the weather conditions are very favourable, with lots of rainfall in late January and early February, and farmers are now hoping for rain in March to set them up for a really good autumn. Cattle and lamb prices are both holding strong, so those with grass and livestock are in a good position.Currently producers are planting their winter grazing crops – meaning there’s potential for trade further down the track, when the crops are established. Overall it’s a really positive time for producers in New South Wales, and we’re very optimistic about the coming months.
|Victoria – Michael Phelan
Here in Victoria, there’s a lot of supplementary feeding going on – the summer rainfall has been a mixed bag but generally good, and overall it’s been a mild summer in which some areas have been able to ease up on giving stock extra feed. This bodes well for the sowing of crops in April.As most Victorian producers move out of drought we’re going well, with a particular boom across the east coast. The pricing of the cattle market is red-hot – it’s a great time for sellers as weaner sales are at record levels, but excess feed means people are buying and putting stock out to paddock, which makes it a jittery time as they hold on to stock. Overall, though, the fundamentals are good, with rain up north helping to boost low stock numbers.
Right now there’s a great demand for lamb – the market’s not flooded and prices are at good levels, and there’s money to be made if stock’s managed right. There are big opportunities at the moment to buy pregnant ewes for lambing down in autumn, as well as PTIC heifers, and in general it’s a positive time here in Victoria.