Cattlemen cash in on shortages
By RACHEL SCOLLAY
IN 58 years of selling cattle, Ian Weir has never seen prices so high.
At the Lismore sales on Tuesday, cows were fetching up to $1.80 per kilo, which was 15 cents higher than the week before.
"That's a record price ever for cows," he said. "Previously we've had them up to $1.70."
Mr Weir said the prices were a result of a general shortage.
"Two or three months ago the price was 40 cents a kilo less than what it is now," he said.
"Since we've had the good rain, people have been hanging on to any cows they might be able to breed from."
Mr Weir said that two weeks ago bullocks in Lismore also had been selling at an all-time high of $1.85 a kilo.
On Tuesday, there were no bullocks for sale at the Lismore sales, but if there had he predicted the price would
probably have hit $1.90.
"There's a shortage of bullocks everywhere that's been brought about by a good export market to Japan and Korea," he said.
"Plus it's a seasonal shortage. The fat bullocks are ready in the summer, that's when the big numbers are about."
Mr Weir said bumper prices were resulting in large yardings, with 920 cattle at Lismore on Tuesday and 1200 the week before.
Meanwhile, at the Casino sales yesterday, there was a huge yarding of 2700.
Cattle producer Brad Carr, from Shannonbrook, was 'pretty happy' with the $2.13 a kilo he received for 244kg vealers, although he said it wasn't a record.
"Five weeks ago it was well under $2," he said.
"The rain has made the difference. Some people were forced to sell because they were running out of pasture. Otherwise they would have held on to them to wait for the better prices."