Beef prices at an all-time high

By Rodney Woods on May 16, 2017
  • Beef prices at an all-time high

    Josh McRae with some of his Dajory Murray Grey stud cattle.

Beef producers across the Goulburn Valley are enjoying sustained high prices, which saw an especially large increase in April.

According to the latest NAB Agribusiness Rural Commodity Wrap, beef prices were up 6.4 per cent in April.

Dajory Murray Greys stud manager Josh McRae said yard prices were at the highest he or his late grandfather had seen.

‘‘They’re the best they’ve been,’’ Mr McRae, from Grahamvale, said.

‘‘My grandfather has passed away now but I don’t think he’s seen them like this. They are at an all-time high.’’

Mr McRae said he had more inquiries recently about young heifers than usual.

‘‘I’ve had more inquiries about young heifers because people are wanting to restock after selling at the high prices.

‘‘I sold a couple of vealers averaging 300kg and got roughly 1100 bucks.

‘‘I would have normally weaned these cows in the past and fed them grain and hay to fatten them.’’

Tallarook’s Atriem Murray Greys co-principal Stephen Koch said he had a better idea of prices selling privately than if he sold at the yards.

‘‘The price week-to-week in yards can fluctuate but in the short term our prices are more stable,’’ Mr Koch said.

He said the selling of genetics had been affected due to prices.

‘‘Overall the price of genetics has gone up for AI sires. This has affected the industry overall in a good way.’’

Mr McRae said it was not just good for the industry that beef prices were up.

‘‘While farmers are doing well, communities and towns are doing well.

‘‘Farmers might have had the same tractor for 20 years and now they can go out and buy new machinery.

‘‘If farmers are making money, everyone’s making money.’’

NAB Agribusiness economist Phin Ziebell said cattle prices had been pushed higher by increased restocker interest after good rain across parts of Queensland and NSW.

‘‘The price bump is good news for beef producers but it’s not clear if it will continue as the gap between US and Australian cattle prices remains well above historic norms and we don’t see much upside in US cattle prices in the near future,’’ Mr Ziebell said.

Mulcahy Nelson Livestock director Sam Nelson said the reason for the high prices was a ‘‘shortage of supply’’ and agreed with Mr McRae that prices were reaching abnormal heights.

‘‘I can’t see it (the prices) getting any better than it is now, to be honest,’’ he said.

By Rodney Woods on May 16, 2017

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