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High lamb prices fail to attract forward selling

Alex Blucher and David Claughton, Friday February 7, 2014 - 15:25 EDT
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As the drought heads south, Monaro farmer, Sean Nielson, was selling off sheep at the record Cooma sale. He's destocking and calling for a freight subsidy as he starts trucking in feed for his stock. - ABC

With conditions getting dry in the state's south and no rain in sight farmers are weighing up their options.

Tim Schofield, from Schofield livestock and property in Cooma, says the big question on farmers minds is whether to sell lambs now or later.

"I think they are particularly nervous this year because it's just been so hot. It's been really relentless. Even if we do get the rain if the temperature doesn't cool down a little we're not going to get a lot of growth right away. They are being very cautious which is a very wise thing to do."

February and March are generally good months for farmers on the Monaro but that's not the case this year.

"Quite a few people have started feeding, or are preparing to feed. Stock are doing quite well, but it's deteriorating quickly.

He says very few people are locking in forward contracts although processors are willing to pay high prices for good quality later on.

"The market is rising at the moment, especially the lamb market, so with dry conditions people are speculating that prices will increase. A processor came out with a rate for March of $4.80 and now it's been increased to $5.00 and $5.20 for later on."


- ABC

© ABC 2014

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