High cattle prices haven’t fixed drought hangover: Cattle Council

Beef Central, 19/04/2021

DESPITE cattle prices reaching record highs, producers right across Australia still have a long way to go to recover after up to nine years of drought.

Cattle Council of Australia President Markus Rathsmann said while the record-high prices are helping in the recovery, they haven’t created a windfall for beef producers.

“The cattle herd is going through a rebuild phase which means producers aren’t selling much stock, so they’re not getting big returns,” Mr Rathsmann said.

The number of cattle being sold has dropped 26 per cent across our five biggest producing states compared to those numbers five years ago, according to MLA data.

“The increasing price is a sign there just aren’t that many cattle in the system.

“The higher price does help, but if you don’t have the stock to sell it makes little difference.

“Last year the national herd was down nearly four and a half million cattle from a high of more than 29 million in 2013.

“It’s important the community recognises it will still take years for some producers to recover after up to nine years of drought.

“We expect the national herd to bounce back in the next few years, which will benefit producers, consumers and the whole supply chain.

“I thank the community for their support during the drought and ask they stick with us as our industry gets back on its feet.”

Source: Cattle Council of Australia


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  1. Val+Dyer, 19/04/2021

    One of the issues raised at the NTCA conference was the financial capacity of cattle producers to build accomodation for married couples, possibly with children to educate.
    Why is it that people in Australia believe that cattle producers should not make enough profit to invest in more infrastructure/housing to support employment for families who want to be a part of this great industry?

  2. Brad Bellinger, 19/04/2021

    Of course no one really knows ,but there is no way that we have 24.5 million cattle in Australia.Cattle Council are just quoting MLA figures.
    In 2019 I was amazed how out of touch MLA was when they said at the AGM that there 26-27m head. In the supposedly safe New England there were farmers running out of water and had to completely destock.
    ABARE came out with a more accurate figure of 21m in January 2020.All last year the female kill was higher than herd rebuilding Thinking probable 19m now.
    The Federal government was hopeless in their drought response a few soft loans and 25% water infrastructure rebate that soon ran out.

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