BACK TO NORMAL: Things are settling down in the Central Highlands cattle industry,  according to Tim Maguire from Maguires Real Estate & Livestock.
BACK TO NORMAL: Things are settling down in the Central Highlands cattle industry, according to Tim Maguire from Maguires Real Estate & Livestock. Aaron Goodwin

Rebuilding our cattle market

THE Central Highlands beef industry is currently holding in a place of rebuild, following the rain events in April and earlier in the year in North Queensland.

Much needed rainfall across the region in recent months has brought relief to Central Highlands-based cattle producers according to Tim Maguire from Maguires Real Estate and Livestock.

"April's rainfall events has eased the pressure for a lot of Central Highlands-based producers,” Mr Maguire said.

"In the Central Highlands most people have had some form of relief.

"Most graziers are going through a rebuilding program at the moment.

"Restocking and rebuilding their numbers.”

Looking specifically at this week's market, prices and competition have fallen slightly due to a fall in the Eastern Cattle Index.

"There's been a slide in the market, the Easter Cattle Index has fallen again,” Mr Maguire said.

"We see these fluctuations, you've only got to see a rain event next week and that market will improve.

"This week most of the meatworks processors have bookings well out in advance, so when they attend sale yards situations, they're not as competitive, so sale prices slid for processor type of cattle.

"In the main, store, feeder and backgrounder type cattle rates are reasonably strong across the board.”

The Central Highlands and wider Central Queensland are no longer receiving cattle from further north and west, after flooding events earlier in the year.

"We were receiving a lot of western and northern cattle obviously with the flooding event earlier on in the year,” Mr Maguire said.

"A lot of those numbers aren't coming through the Central Queensland region now.”

On the national scale, numbers are a little below par, due to drought and cattle producers acting accordingly to the conditions.

"National herd numbers are a little bit off the boil, due to the ongoing drought,” Mr Maguire said.

"A lot of producers did sell down, so national herd numbers are below where they could be.

"There is a record number of cattle on feed on the eastern seaboard of Australia at the moment.

"And that would be a reflection of a lot of Queensland and certainly of central and southern New South Wales, still in drought conditions.”

Moving forward it's no surprise that weather will be a major factor in determining the cattle market as we head closer to winter.

Maguire also pointed out that producers need to consider how they will hold up with their winter stocks.

"I'd suggest that'll be weather dependant,” Mr Maguire said.

"If there's a significant onset of cold weather or frost, that will come into play.

"And producers that don't have a reasonable body of feed will have to reassess their situation and assess if the can continue to hold existing stock levels through the winter,” Mr Maguire said.