Bill Tatt column: strong lamb market, week ending 17/08/18

Stock and property: Local agent Bill Tatt discusses the latest industry news including the strong lamb market at Dubbo and his recent trip to Queensland. Photo: File.
Stock and property: Local agent Bill Tatt discusses the latest industry news including the strong lamb market at Dubbo and his recent trip to Queensland. Photo: File.

Week Ending 17/08/2018

On a recent road trip to south east Queensland the availability of any surplus agistment does not appear obvious.

The country certainly had a bigger bulk of dry matter initially than we did but that has all but disappeared.

The highway was littered with dead kangaroo carcases who had a kamikaze approach to on-coming traffic.

Hay wagons were in abundance with many loads going south to north and surprisingly enough, similar numbers going in the opposite direction.

Market reporters quoted the lamb market stronger here at Dubbo on Monday, August 13 in a modest yarding with many lines of both lambs and mutton showing distinct signs of drought stress.

Having said that good heavy well-presented export lambs still sold very well some quotes from the catalogues which the writer saw post sale include NM Kerin Yeoval $289.00, Brad Tink and family from ‘Boxwood’, Mendooran saw their double pen of lambs reach $258.00.

One of the major feed lotters’ have apparently organised two boats to transport grain from Western Australia ports to grain terminals here on the east coast.

One of my contacts suggested that mode of freight was roughly only one third the cost of road transport. Would be very interested to confirm that assumption.

Recent statistics released at the end of July by Eastern States Daily Market indicates just how strong the top end of the prime lamb market has been and this scenario looks like it will continue.

NLRS said trade lambs were up 36 cents/kilogram for the last week of July and a huge 224c/kg better than the same week in 2017.

Heavy export lambs were at an all time high of 845c/kg up 45c on the previous week and standing at 269c/kg better than that week last year.

Light lambs were at 690c, merino lambs 702c and restocker’s stood at 655c.

We must remember that these quotes all relate to the better end of each category and does not necessarily disclose the entire picture.

Dubbo Agents yarded and scanned 6350 cattle at their regular sale on Thursday, August 16.

Under the adverse conditions it was a yarding much better than many of our expectations.

Plain condition cows sold to much stronger competition being quoted 12 to 15c above last weeks prices.  Better cows were firm for most of the day.

The very odd prime pen of yearlings sold around the 300c/kg mark.​ Any cattle with frame and weight met with solid competition.

One operator who was instructed to buy medium weight yearlings helped that section of the sale.

Little lightweights are still providing difficult to place having said that commission buyers sent cattle back to the paddock in South Australia, most parts of Victoria and Southern NSW including the Riverina with one order for young cattle to go into the Brewarrina District.