13 February 2023, Australia: The Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) long-range forecast has predicted below median rainfall for southern parts of Australia, including south Queensland, New South Wales (NSW) Victoria and southern Western Australia (WA) over March-May.
Southern Queensland’s saleyard numbers started the year soft, but as drier conditions persist producers are forced to lower stocking rates with less pasture available. The market is now starting to see an increased volume of cattle on offer, with Roma saleyards booked to sell 7,614 head for the sale on 14 February compared with 5,475 head for the same week in 2022. Auctions and offerings each week have been increasing on the week so far this year, with 12,014 head offered in the first full week in February, up by 26pc on last week but 43pc below the same week last year. Producers are carefully considering their buying options and taking a cautious approach, while many vendors are willing to hold onto stock rather than sell because of residual feed and unappealing prices, according to AuctionsPlus.
The BoM has predicted above average rainfall for northern Australia as a tropical low develops along the Gulf of Carpentaria. Minor to moderate flooding continues in northern and western Queensland, and may be exacerbated by upcoming rainfall in the Gulf Country.
January cattle exports fell significantly on the month to 24,347 head, down by 58pc from the 58,074 head in December, according to the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF). Export numbers are likely to remain low in February, as continued rain and flooding makes it difficult to move cattle in northern Australia. Australian agribusiness firm Elders’ current live export order for feeder steers on 21 February delivered Cloncurry is 390A¢/kg (270¢/kg), down from 460A¢/kg offered on 18 October 2022. Live export prices have followed a similar trend in the Argus northern feeder steer price, which settled at 392A¢/kg on 9 February 2023, decreasing from 500A¢/kg from the last three weeks of October 2022.
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