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Big month for Australia's cattle markets

Neroli Roocke, Friday August 2, 2013 - 14:34 EST
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Cattle being sold at the Dalrymple saleyard at Charters Towers in Queensland. - ABC

Yardings in cattle markets in July across Australia were 29 per cent higher than in June.

Queensland saleyards led the way, putting through 100,000 head.

That's a 33 per cent rise on June and 28 per cent more than was sold in the same month in 2012.

Tim McRae, from Meat and Livestock Australia, says the volumes of cattle are solely a result of the drought in the state's western regions, with big consignments in Hughenden, Richmond and Cunnamulla.

"Producers are making every effort to protect those very valuable breeding herds that they have so that means calves and other stock coming to market," he said.

"That would create concern about the income for the coming year if those animals have already been sold off."

The Eastern Young Cattle Indicator, which tracks prices at east coast saleyards, was 326 cents a kilo as July ended, an improvement on its low point of 278.75 in mid-May.

Mr McRae expects prices to improve further as the year goes on.

"If we do see the forecast for above-average falls for the next few months, starting in southern Queensland but dominating by the southern states, we'd expect to see the cattle supply tighten significantly into the end of the year. "

Victoria recorded a July saleyard figure up 20 per cent on 2012, but while New South Wales saw a 20 per cent lift in yardings from June to July, its figure of 75,000 head was 3 per cent lower than July 2012.


© ABC 2013

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