Hunter graziers battling low beef pricesTuesday February 19, 2013 - 08:17 EDT
The Department of Primary Industries says Hunter graziers are hoping for increased demand for beef over the next few months to drive up prices.
Despite weeks of soaking rains, local beef producers are still battling low prices for fat cattle and are looking ahead to the cooler months when they will be looking to off-load stock.
The DPI's seasonal conditions report for January predicts near average rainfall for much of New South Wales until the end of March.
Scone beef cattle officer Todd Andrews says farmers are hoping the wet weather will be widespread.
"Some widespread rain in inland New South Wales and inland Queensland, where a lot of crops get grown to feed cattle over winter, and that would help to increase demand for other producers," he said.
"They'd also like to see overseas demand for beef increase."
Mr Andrews says there are still some challenges for producers.
"Even though we've had good rain, once you get to around Dubbo and west of Dubbo, they haven't had a good seasonal break and the same with inland Queensland," he said.
"So we're still seeing drought affected cattle coming onto the market in places.
"Overall it's limiting the potential for the market to go up at the moment."
© ABC 2013
More breaking news
Thunderstorms are on the move through New South Wales and southern Queensland once again today, while southern states shiver.
The most widespread heat in five years could grip parts of southern and eastern Australia next week.
Parts of Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia could be lashed by storms and damaging winds on Thursday as a cold front sweeps across Australia's southeast.