Cattle prices were forecast to fall this year thanks to increased domestic supply and more competition in key export markets according to the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES).
The March Agricultural Commodities report, released last Monday, predicted in 2017–18 the weighted average saleyard price of beef cattle would fall by 15 per cent to average 455 cents per kilogram.
That’s due to lower prices in major export markets, particularly Japan and the United States where Australian beef continues to face increased competition, plus increased supply, following improved seasonal conditions which have driven herd rebuilding.
ABARES predicts strong competition and an expansion in Australian cattle supply will keep downward pressure on Australian saleyard prices between 2018–19 and 2020–21 – assuming average seasonal conditions.
In the first half of 2017–18 Chinese beef imports were 29 per cent higher year-on-year and average import prices rose by 5 per cent.