THE region’s recent rainfall has contributed in a down-turn in cattle numbers at recent sales.
With some parts receiving more than 20mm of rain, many producers have chosen to hang onto their stock in the short term.
Landmark stock agent Scott Cooper said the rain contributed to a drop in yarding numbers at the last Gunnedah cattle sale of August.
“I think the recent rain would have made a few producers hold onto their stock in the hopes of it leading to fresh feed,” Mr Cooper said.
“As well as that, I think the rain would have also caused some transporters to have issues getting out and about and therefore less sellers would have been able to get to market.
“However, I think the major factor in the slight drop of numbers in Gunnedah is down to most sellers already having sold off their stock.”
Mr Cooper said prices remained strong despite the dip in overall numbers.
“Export cattle were strong again, up about 20 cents in some places,” he said.
“Weaner cattle improved price wise before the rain came and maintained that momentum, which was nice.
“However, we did see a lot of young calves at the market again which shows that some people are struggling.”
Gunnedah stock agent Guy Gallen said despite the drop in overall numbers “it was still a quality yarding”.
“All of the cattle at the last sale were in great condition across the board,’ Mr Gallen said.
“In fact, it’s actually pretty surprising given how dry it is.”
Mr Gallen said while more calves were up for bids at the sale, prices had improved on previous sales.
“Poddy calves actually kicked on to go for about $100 each on average,” he said.
“It was only a few weeks ago that they were only bringing $20 each, so to see some buyers taking advantage is good to see.”
The Jacob Anderson Partners stock agent said current market conditions presented a great opportunity for buyers.
“With prices the way they are at the moment there is a chance for people to sell an eight or nine year animal and replace it with a younger one and still make money,” he said.
“While it is dry and if it remains this dry until Christmas it will be a tough gig, there is still plenty of opportunity for those in a position to re-stock.”