Finally, some good news for farmers
DEMAND and cattle prices have surged for cattle as farmers scramble to restock their herds following recent rainfall.
Richmond Valley Council’s general manager Vaughan Macdonald said sales are booming at Casino’s Northern Rivers Livestock Exchange with widespread rain in January and February driving a surge in demand accompanied by healthy increases in cattle prices.
Mr Macdonald said recent sales had seen a boom in demand for livestock, with buyers coming from as far away as Victoria and central Queensland – and prices are rising fast.
“With the recent Friday sale on February 14, we reached a top price of $4.74 per kilogram, compared to around $2.65 in February 2019,” Mr Macdonald said.
Mr Macdonald said a previous sustained period of high cattle prices in 2016-2017 saw a record 119,000 head of cattle sold in the same year.
“Obviously we’re seeing those high prices again, so it’s a great sign for a positive year for cattle sales at the NRLX,” he said.
“At this stage we are conservatively estimating we will see around 110,000 head sold in 2019-20.”
Mr Macdonald said the rain had been a boon for local producers, many who had been forced to sell off stock at the height of the drought and bushfire crisis last year.
“It is clear that a record month of sales in November can be largely attributed to producers de-stocking due to the unfortunate impacts of the drought and bushfires,” Mr Macdonald said.
“Council had the foresight in April last year to freeze agent and seller sale fee increases in 2019-2020, which we hope provided some financial relief to producers who were forced to reduce their herds last year.
“Fortunately, the significant rain has seen cattle prices rebound strongly, which bodes well for our local producers for the rest of the year,” he said.
Mr Macdonald said with the completion of the upgrade last year, the benefits of the new facility were becoming fully apparent.
“With the construction phase out of the way, our stakeholders are enjoying the full benefits of this state-of-the-art facility, as the premiere livestock exchange for Northern NSW,” Mr Macdonald said.
“The fact we have had buyers some from as far as Victoria combined with regular visitors from south western Queensland, southern NSW, and significant volumes from western NSW, shows the NRLX and our agents are successfully bringing new business to the region.”