Dry conditions are taking a toll on store cattle markets, reflected in a 10c/kg drop in the benchmark Eastern Young Cattle Indicator yesterday.
A softening in feeder cattle prices is also being reflected in the market for Wagyu infused cattle. Not long ago any feeder or backgrounder cattle with Wagyu content were attracting buyer competition, but with those premium prices has come a significant increase in Wagyu calf production, meaning buyers are now becoming more selective.
And, whether we are or not, how should cattle producers be allocating the increased capital they have received from improved cattle prices for the best chance of being profitable in the future? Farm business advisor Dr Phil Holmes, Holmes and Co, was given the task of answering these questions at the recent NTCA conference in Darwin.
Recent rain has triggered a renewed rally in restocker buying interest. The national restocker yearling steer indicator has jumped 51¢/kg liveweight in the past week to 380c/kg. While not quite breaking records, the store market at Roma yesterday was only a few cents shy of prices paid during the market peak in October.
The ACCC says cattle processors should publish their price grids for direct to works sales to improve transparency in the Australian cattle market, one of 15 recommendations it has released in its beef and cattle market report.
The weighted average saleyard price of cattle is forecast to increase by seven percent this financial year to 540c a kilogram, and to maintain the same average through 2017-18.
A hot, dry summer, as forecast by the Bureau of Meteorology, could accelerate an easing of cattle prices in 2017, NAB has cautioned in its latest beef cattle market outlook report.
Should processors and all major cattle purchasers publish their price grids for all to see?
Livestock agents say they see no benefits in the introduction of a mandatory buyers register as proposed by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
Many public hearings have been held around Australia in recent years with the aim of getting to the bottom of market competition issues between producers and processors. However, very few have involved producers and processors talking to each other in the same room.