While one week of very heavy falls will not make up for the disappointment of the 2013-14 wet season, falls over the past week have been very well received across a large swathe of drought affected QLD and northern NSW. The highest rainfall totals for many regions in almost two years will assist pasture growing conditions, improve water supplies, and enable winter cropping programs to commence. The rain has also underpinned an instant impact on this week’s cattle market.
In response to the reduced saleyard offerings, and some indication of rejuvenated restocker interest, the EYCI jumped 22.75¢ in the past week, finishing Thursday at 321.75¢/kg cwt – the highest level since December 2013. While the overall impact on cattle throughput will only be determined in weeks to come, given the steady line of cattle reportedly booked into processors, this week’s deluge will undoubtedly have many producers reassessing their selling options. Indeed, while rainfall was desperately required across many regions, so too is cash flow – so the balance between selling (lured by anticipated higher prices) and waiting for the countryside to respond will be undoubtedly a farm-by-farm decision.
Further rain through central NSW has only bolstered an already favourable autumn break, with many producers now reportedly scrambling to sow winter crops. Good falls have also been registered in the southern states, with another front anticipated to possibly deliver follow-up falls next week.
While the cattle market lifted, the national lamb indicators eased slightly, despite lower throughput, with heavy lambs easing 8¢, to 564¢/kg cwt, while light lambs finished Thursday on 488¢/kg cwt, back 6¢.