Price falls, lack of rain lift numbers

BIG NUMBERS: A week of decline in cattle prices and no rain saw producers forward the most solid draw of cattle the centre has seen in a long time.
Photo: Fairfax Media

BIG NUMBERS: A week of decline in cattle prices and no rain saw producers forward the most solid draw of cattle the centre has seen in a long time. Photo: Fairfax Media

With a week that saw signs of a serious decline in cattle prices and no worthwhile rain on the horizon, beef producers elected to forward to Dubbo agents the most substantial draw of prime cattle on July 13, the centre has seen for a long time.

When the numbers were finalised on the Wednesday morning they stood at 6045 head.

In reality, there is no way the numbers will hold up.

Producers whose preferred agents are back-markers in the sale will no doubt withdraw some cattle and wait for a more suitable marble to come their way.

Nevertheless an actual yarding of 5000 head is quite within the realms of possibility and this in itself is an imposing number.

My thoughts are that sheep and lamb numbers for the next few Mondays will also trend upwards as graziers look to diminish the load on rapidly failing stockpiles of feed in the paddocks.

Last week we saw a noticeable spike in prices being offered for mutton and lambs.

This will be a further inducement for producers to load up and send greater numbers to the market.

My worry is the processors will anticipate the increase in the numbers available over the next two to three weeks and take back the spike we received plus a fraction extra.

While the column at this point has heard nothing official, saleyard chatter indicates we may see the official opening of the extension to the cattle selling complex on Friday, July 28.

These new facilities are advancing rapidly and this major project is coming to fruition very quickly.

To the writer, the choice of dates is strange.

With the exception of the politicians and local council employees who would view it as an opportunity for a photo shoot, the day does not appear to suit many other people involved in the saleyards.

Firstly, to my knowledge, there is no sale that day so a gathering of actual saleyard users will not be on hand.

Secondly, papers such as The Land and the Dubbo agents who would look to this event as a marketing bonanza, will surely not have enough time to get all their “ducks in a row”.

Now at this stage this date, to my knowledge, has not been confirmed but more than one person has indicated July 28 is in the frame.

Between now and whatever day is finally chosen the Land Newspaper and the Dubbo Agents Association will need to try to exert pressure on the bureaucrats.

The yarding of prime cattle for Thursday, July 13, has been sold and, as I write, weighing is taking place.

My expectations of a really disastrous day did not eventuate.

Most cattle sold up to or beyond my expectations – an extremely plain offering with most of the bigger lines drawn from the ravaged far west of the state.

Best feeder steers reached 340c/kg with the best heifers in this category realising 320c/kg.

The best cows topped at 257c while the best bull at the time reached 272c/kg.

The best heavy steers and bullocks were almost firm on previous sales.

Grown heifers recorded very close to $3.00 at the top end.

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