SALEYARDS across New South Wales are preparing for the first major weaner sales in a long time, after two years of re-stocking.
About 40,000 head of weaners are expected to pass through special sales at AAM Investment Group’s Regional Livestock Exchange facilities in the coming months – with several feature sales planned it most of its facilities. Today’s Tamworth sale was one of company’s first weaner sales this year, with 4500 head yarded.
Tamworth Livestock Selling Agents Association president Ian Morgan said significant numbers were expected across northern NSW and the New England, heading into March.
“Numbers have been building since the drought broke two-years-ago and we’re expecting some good yardings at Tamworth in the coming month,” Mr Morgan said.
“We will probably have to push our major ‘Virbac Sale’ back to the end of April because a lot of the calving on the New England was a bit late.”
The past two years have seen large numbers of cattle heading from Queensland the NSW, with dry conditions persisting across most of the sunshine state.
With a season turning for dry parts of Southern and Central Queensland, Mr Morgan said re-stockers from further north had been present at the Tamworth yards.
“Queensland has been very kind to us until now, but a lot of cattle here today look like they will be heading back up north,” he said.
“We’ve had one buyer taking cattle as far north as Rockhampton, which is very unusual for Tamworth. But they’ve had good rain and there is a low supply.”
Mr Morgan said the procession of cattle heading from north-to-south in recent year meant there was a large concentration of Bos Indicus breeds at the yards, which was attractive for Queensland buyers.
“We had one-particular breeder who yarded a few hundred Brangus weaners and I noticed the lead of them went back to Qld,” he said. “The big numbers here have also been an attraction.”
“I think we will see the British breeds return in the coming years, with a lot of breeders still trying to build up numbers.”
Southern weaners to drive markets
The weaners coming onto the market are expected to be a major cattle market driver this year, according ANZ bank’s Agri Commodity Report released today.
Head of Institutional Food, Beverage & Agribusiness Ian Hanrahan said calving in southern Qld and NSW was likely to drive the market for the coming years.
“Since the end of the drought in NSW most regions including much of Queensland, have seen a continuation of good rainfall and relatively even weather,” Mr Hanrahan said.
“Australia’s female cattle herd now looks set to deliver one of the biggest calvings in years, and also one of the healthiest.
“This is because many of the first calvers, now two or three years of age, will be in excellent condition and therefore likely to have easier births and deliver stronger calves.
Mr Hanrahan said with more weaners coming onto the market, there could be a decline in prices.
“Given that some producers will be predicting this wave of calves onto the market, we may also see an early rush to sell before the surge, as is often the case with annual lamb sales,” he said.
“That said, if the season stays strong, and export prices remain high, then it is quite possible that restocking activity won’t decline to the extent some are forecasting.”
While Mr Hanrahan was predicting a surge in calving, Mr Morgan said numbers across NSW were still tight.
“There has been good yardings at Tamworth, but we draw on a big area – from the New England, Hunter Valley and the north-west,” he said.
“Generally, numbers are still tight and a lot of people around here are still trying the rebuild their herd.”