Pricing boom

June 24, 2017

A nation-wide shortage of sheep and cattle has seen prices sky-rocket at local sales, with record prices being achieved at Finley in the last few months.

Elders livestock agent James Kennedy said the market boost is a reflection of changing supply and demand rates.

With sheep sales reaching a high of $217 at the Finley saleyards, he also said this year’s yarding numbers have had a fantastic turn-around from 2016.

‘‘Up until this year, we hadn’t seen a sale over $200, but we’ve had quite a few sell for over $200 recently,’’ he said.

‘‘Sheep numbers in local markets have grown since, and lately there have been yarding’s of 3500 to 4000 sheep. We didn’t see numbers like that until late winter last year.’’

Overall, Mr Kennedy said on a per kilo basis, saleyard prices were stronger compared to over the hook rates.

‘‘We’ve seen better finished lambs this year with more weight, and the stock has been quality,’’ he said.

Like sheep sales, cattle prices have also been strong at recent sales despite lower yarding numbers. The most recent cattle sale was held on June 7, with the next to be held today.

‘‘At the fortnightly cattle sales, there’s been a consistent yarding of around 350 cattle, whereas 12 months ago we saw the yarding reach around 500,’’ Mr Kennedy said.

‘‘Although yarding numbers have dropped from last year, strong prices have drawn sellers to the yards.’’

For vealers, prices have reached towards 390c per kilo, while cows have seen sales of 260c per kilo and heavy steers have climbed to 330c per kilo.

‘‘It’s an exciting time for the industry and as the supply has dropped, producers are being rewarded with great prices,’’ Mr Kennedy said.

‘‘However, the markets are starting to ease back.’’

■Learn more about the livestock agents helping producers benefit from the boom on pages 12 and 13.

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