With the best spring forecast in nearly a decade, the big question is what will happen to our markets. Whether it be cattle, lamb or rural property, they are all affected by weather and price. The lamb market has seen a correction in the last month with prices dropping below $6.00/kg/dw for the first time in many months, but are still historically good. This is due to several factors: the main one being an influx at the tail end of last season’s lambs which in many cases are lacking quality or finish. The other end of the scale is the increase in numbers of new season suckers that, after a tough start, have finished well.
The new season suckers have been affected by the rain with many having the weight, but lacking bloom due to the rain. New season lamb numbers have a tendency to fluctuate with price spikes. In many cases the weeks we see a correction is due to vendors pushing in the lighter end, which can be deceptively light to catch the high values.
This might be the year to take a punt and shear them before we see the inevitable seed problems that come with a good spring. The trade weight lambs will still be the weights to aim for. Old Sheep are still selling well on limited supply. Restockers have yet to hit the market for the best 1st cross ewes. Most of the completion remains on the light end that can been grown out on the abundant feed for either a late spring or autumn joining. Merino restocker competition also remains slow unless they are scanned in lamb, giving a quicker return.
The prime and feeder cattle markets have seen corrections of between 5 – 20cents/ kg/lw with quality falling in some cases. The best grain fed cattle, both steers and heifers, have been grossing over $2000/ hd. Vendors are still in a very strong position with numbers being historically low. The restocker market for cattle can only be described as red hot with prices well over $1000/hd for weaner steers. There are still cattle purchasing options that allow you to make money. It is a matter of not necessarily looking for the top priced pen of Angus steers. Rural Property is still a sought after commodity to purchase or lease. Even with predicted lower grain prices, the old saying of “what goes down must come up” applies as with our current livestock markets.
The long-term outlook for agriculture is bright and so are land values. For any further details, contact Langlands Hanlon or visit www.langlandshanlon.com.au
By Geoff Rice