Lamb prices hit $300 per head, Bill Tatt discusses

Stock and Property: Bill Tatt discusses how lambs have reached the $300 per head target. A milestone he never thought he'd see in his lifetime. Photo: File.

Stock and Property: Bill Tatt discusses how lambs have reached the $300 per head target. A milestone he never thought he'd see in his lifetime. Photo: File.

Week Ending 03/08/2018

The weather experts suggest that 99 per cent of NSW is now experiencing drought conditions with no real beneficial relief in sight. The slight changes come and go with virtually no rain whatsoever.

Fodder is becoming harder to find and is very expensive and graziers are dragging the fodder long distances which makes the end game very difficult to sustain, governments of all persuasions have introduced a raft of measurers to support farming families but many of these initiatives seem destined to fail. Also, farmer organisations do not appear to be able to agree on what should be done to achieve the best outcome.

There are now some dreadful stories emerging of stock losses occurring through natural attrition or at the hands of the RSPCA or other such humane organisations this is now taking place in some of the supposedly better and safer areas of the state with once again supposedly higher rainfall totals.

Well lambs have finally reached the $300.00 per head target a milestone which I thought that I would not see in my lifetime.

Heavy export lambs in prime condition are certainly the flavour of the month. Bear in mind that for every pen of these type of lambs there are probably 50 pens of lambs which do not meet vendors price expectation.

Apparently, some graziers are sending stock both North and South seeking better markets for their store stock. My information is that these endeavours are meeting with very mixed results.

One major beef processor reduced their grid price for both heavy steers and cows by 10c to 15c and this did nothing to deter the flow of cattle being booked in for August.

For the week ending July, 31, Eastern states beef kill stood at 141,292 head up 7 per cent when compared to the same week last year.

According to one analyst many processors have already acquired the bulk of their requirement for the next four to six weeks. This does not necessarily apply to domestic abattoirs who are still finding suitable cattle difficult to source.

Dubbo agents yarded and scanned 5500 head for their first cattle sale for August. The overall market trended cheaper but some agents reported sales above their expectations.

A worrying sign for the live sheep exporters is the failure of the major shippers to regain their licenses from the regulators Middle Eastern countries are reportedly facing grave shortages in the lead-up to some of their major religious festivals which begin on August, 24.

In 2017 one of Kuwait’s major importers handled 1.88 million sheep of which 1.28 million were sourced from Australia. I heard recently a detailed description of the numbers of sheep which arrived safely and these per cent are very good.

We of course have seen the odd horrific exposures in the media of the bad end of this trade to local activist what happens with stock from other countries is probably not their concern but when the middle east as they are doing now start to import sheep from Somalia, Sudan and Armenia.

I would lay a wager that their health protocols are not nearly as good as ours