Fairfax Media Network

Weather News

Queensland cattle sale cancelled as industry confidence falls

Charlie McKillop, Tuesday January 28, 2014 - 10:38 EDT
ABC image
The cancellation of the first scheduled sale Charters Towers is a worrying sign of a cautious market - ABC

The cancellation of the first scheduled cattle sale for 2014 in north Queensland this week has been cited as yet another example of the lagging confidence in the northern beef industry.

Any early optimism that the cattle season might finally be turning around in Queensland has all but vanished, along with the storm clouds on the horizon.

With no reasonable prospect of widespread rain activity in the next seven days, agent Kevin Currie says it's not surprising an insufficient number of cattle has forced the Charters Towers sale to be cancelled.

"The cattle are very light coming out of last year, such a bad season and the people are waiting desperately to get some rain so they can put some condition and weight onto their cattle to make them really saleable," he said.

"But at the same time, we've got to the end of January and there's no grass so half the growing season's already gone.

"People are very cautious now as to whether they'll get enough grass to carry them through."

Even markets in Queensland's south-east, which have rebounded in recent weeks by yesterday, had eased by as much as 30 to 40 cents for heavy steers.

More than 40,000 head of cattle will have left the Port of Townsville between Christmas and the end of January, offering good prices of more than $2 per kilogram for lighter steers under 250kg and around $1.90 for heavier types.

But Kevin Currie knows that can change very quickly and is already showing signs of doing so.

"The markets are very fast filling up," he said.

"The boats have been going out of Townsville thick and fast.

"The market's been very good there. However, as those boats are all full and you're unable to get cattle on now, supplier naturally have reduced their price and they'll reduce it further if necessary, if it remains dry and the cattle keep coming.

"The meatworks are must the same. The meatworks are full from Townsville to Brisbane," he said.


- ABC

© ABC 2014

More breaking news

ABC News
Sydney Morning Herald
National Nine News
News Limited

Display Your Local Weather

Weather News

Big surf closes beaches across Sydney, NSW

14:15 EST

Surf lifesavers have issued a warning to beachgoers as a large swell closes stretches of the New South Wales coastline.

El Nino over, BoM says, so winter rain could be on the way

12:12 EST

The latest El Nino cycle is over, which could lead to a wet winter, according to the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM).

Final designs for Yarriambiack Shire permanent flood levees near completion

11:36 EST

The Yarriambiack Council says it is close to completing the final designs for permanent flood levees in the north-western Victorian shire.