First the good news our weather gurus say we are not expected to be hit by an El Nino this year however that doesn't mean we are going to enjoy lots of rain.
In fact the prediction from the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) for late winter and early spring is above average temperatures and below average rainfall for Eastern Australia.
With much of Queensland in drought coupled with very dry conditions across NSW and the BOM seasonal outlook cattle prices have taken a hit.
In June the Eastern Young Cattle Indicator (EYCI) recorded it first negative year-on-year change since 2014.
Last week the ECYI was at 600c/kg cwt having fallen for a number of weeks. A turnaround from 2016 when at the same time the prices were skyrocketing reaching above 700c/kg in August.
Lamb prices have also dropped from their record levels in recent weeks due in part to increases in supply. They fell below 600c/kg/cwt before lifting again last week.
Market analyst say only a break in the season especially in the North will have a major impact on cattle prices.
Daytime temperatures maybe above average but cloudless skies mean many districts are experiencing heavy frosts that degrade pastures.
Saleyards are seeing mixed quality offerings that include some outstanding grainfed yearlings as well as poorer conditioned cattle as the dry cold condition take their toll.
Meat Livestock Australia (MLA) report a dry to start to winter and a poor rainfall outlook for the July to September period, along with a slowly building herd, will likely see available supplies continue to mount through the remainder of the year. This is expected to put downward pressure on prices.
“While the market has seemingly started to come off the boil, it is still at historically high levels. Restocker activity, continual growth in export markets and reducing tariff regimes, along with a favourable Australian dollar, should underpin the Australian cattle market to remain above the long-term average.”
Australian cattle market to remain above the long-term averageMeat Livestock Australia