Record sale prices give farmers a reason to smile again
CONTINUING record sale prices at the Gympie Saleyards on Monday meant cattle farmers in the region finally have something to smile about.
Cattle sales auctioneer and Gympie Sullivan Livestock and Rural Services agent Dan Sullivan said the high selling price had held firm from last fortnight, continuing to be the best he had seen in his 23-year career.
He said 180 vendors sold 1970 cattle on Monday with weaner steers selling at $3.80/kg, averaging about $950 per animal, and heavy feeder steers at $3.30/kg, averaging about $1450.
The price was more than double for steers of similar size and nature that were on the market two years ago, which were selling at an average of $1.60/kg.
Prices began climbing last October and November when they hit the $3/kg mark.
Mr Sullivan said the high prices came down to supply and demand, with a shortage in killable cattle numbers fattening the market.
Langshaw beef producer Gary Tramacchi, who keeps a close eye on the market, took advantage of the high price when he sold seven-month old weaner steers on Monday.
He went one further than Mr Sullivan, saying prices were the best he had seen in 40 years.
Although he said comparing prices "is all relative", he believes a number of factors have helped the market turn around.
Recent rain has helped after an ongoing drought, alongside a heavy export and live export market, which has depleted numbers.
Supply and demand on the world market is the biggest driver, he said.
"It's been a very welcome turnaround. It's got to keep going and hopefully it will."
Mr Tramacchi said now cattle prices were more relative to farming costs, the extra money in farmers' pockets would help see much needed maintenance undertaken on properties.
"It's a better outlook for the future."
Mr Sullivan believes the rise in prices is a positive for the whole area where more money will be spent in the region.
"I believe we're at the top of the tree - I can't see it getting any better," he said.
"When the season's good, which we haven't seen in a long time, everyone's just got a bit more of a smile on their face."
There will be a female sale in Woolooga tomorrow.