Livestock supply glut impacts prices

Livestock supply glut impacts prices

Downward pressure has been placed on South Australia’s cattle prices due to a number of farmers in Northern Australia destocking their properties of livestock recently due to a prediction by the Bureau of Meteorology of a long dry, hot summer.

Due to the oversupply at abattoirs, livestock prices have plunged meaning many South Australian farmers are holding onto their stock in anticipation of an upcoming price rise.

Last week’s cattle sale at the Mount Gambier Saleyards saw just over 500 cattle through the gate compared to 1600 the prior week and 2600 two weeks ago when the price was higher.

Combined Agents chairman Brad Holdman said it was positive to see the price of cattle improve slightly.

“The price has been down for the last couple of weeks, specifically last week and the week before just due to numbers,” he said.

“There has been a large amount of numbers on the market, the price came up and improved significantly on what it has been like over the last six months so we have seen that trend upwards.

“The numbers have begun to flow particularly in southern New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia and it is a wait on numbers, they just cannot move the cattle through the works at the moment.

“There is still a lot of cattle around to sell but we have seen it trend back just because of the price.”

Mr Holdman expects the price to stabilise or rise as the number of livestock work through the system.

“We are not seeing it being a long term drop in the market, particularly now they have started to rise again,” he said.

“We have some short weeks coming up so that always has an effect on throughput with the abattoir so we are hoping that does not affect the price essentially, the numbers will be less and the throughput will continue.”

Mr Holdman said lamb numbers also dropped because of current prices which are averaging $6.30kg.

“What we are seeing is a lot of lambs at a bottleneck at the moment, there are a lot of lambs coming from Western Australia because they have got an abundance over there and no kill space so that is affecting the market here.

“We certaintly see a shortage of lambs that are put out and we expect that will start to trend up in a little while too but it depends on numbers coming through.

“A few weeks ago, there was a shortage of numbers and the price was quite good but again weighted numbers, there are just so many numbers they (abattoirs) cannot handle them.”

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