While the past week saw many regions across south eastern Australia receive much need rain, it also saw the A$ kick to its highest level in many months, trading over 95US¢. In a case of good news, bad news, the impact of the rain was reflected in dearer livestock markets this week, while the higher A$ will slowly erode the competitive position of Australian red meat in the global market – especially if recent gains are sustained.
The widespread rain ranged from southern Queensland to Victoria, with the heaviest and most welcome falls received through northern and central NSW, while southern WA also registered handy falls. With spring across the eastern states commencing warmer than usual, the wet weather over the past week will go some way to rejuvenating parched pastures and crops. However, given the extent of the dry conditions through winter, and accentuated by the hot conditions, good follow up rain will be crucial to ensure adequate feed supplies heading into summer.
Unfortunately, very little rain fell across the drought declared regions of Queensland, which now covers around 60% of the state. Early next week will see the BOM release its three month rainfall outlook, which should shed some light upon the prospects for the early months of the 2013-14 wet season.
Most southern livestock markets reflected the much needed rain this week, with the EYCI increasing 16.5¢ over the past week, finishing Thursday at 319.75¢/kg cwt, while nationally, cows jumped 6¢, to average 251¢/kg cwt. The lamb market was up across all categories, especially for light lambs which kicked 33¢, to average 381¢/kg cwt.