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Low prices and full meatworks halt cattle sales

Amy Phillips, Thursday May 9, 2013 - 11:54 EST
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Large yardings of cattle have come to a stop in western Queensland because of low prices and full meatworks. - ABC

Cattle sales in central west Queensland have been cancelled this week due to a backlog of cattle booked into the meatworks and depressed prices.

Livestock agent Paton Fitzsimons says the Blackall and Longreach cattle sales weren't able to attract enough numbers to sell.

He says many producers have decided that prices are too low.

"Those producers that always buy in their store cattle to replace their bullocks, a lot of those people in central Queensland haven't really even sold their bullocks yet and they're just not prepared to buy next year's potential bullocks before they've even sold this year's."

The market has been affected by dry weather and cutbacks to live exports.

There are some early signs the wait and see approach may be paying off for cattle producers.

LNP Member for Gregory Vaughan Johnson says he's heard prices are already improving.

"I spoke with an agent yesterday afternoon in Charters Towers and he tells me there was a 7 or 8 per cent increase in the market there."

Ray White Rural, at Charters Towers, says 742 cattle were yarded at the sale and heavy cows sold for a top of 105 cents a kilo and averaged 77 cents a kilo.

Social events are also being impacted by the drought in the west.

The Richmond field day's annual cattle sale has had to be scrapped because of the lack of numbers.

Likewise, earlier in the year the Thargomindah campdraft was cancelled as well as the Flinders beef challenge.


© ABC 2013

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