DON’T expect to see too many bargains in the meat tray at your supermarket or in the butcher’s window after trade cattle prices hit record levels at the VLE Leongatha Saleyards last Wednesday.
A circumspect buyer for O’Connors at Pakenham, Wayne Reid said the prices for bullocks was the highest he’d seen in this area in February, traditionally the time when finished cattle hit the market locally.
“We’ve probably paid more in the winter but not in February,” Mr Reid said.
Landmark’s Terry Ginnane agreed.
Reid said he was hoping to see the rise in price, at least, settle down but he couldn’t say for sure where they’ll go from here.
Others said they think the high prices will continue.
It’s good news for graziers who have stock to sell, but not for those with low numbers and plenty of grass.
Elders’ Damien Minogue was delighted to have sold the highest priced steers for the day, a run of Red Angus Steers for Trevor Nicholas of Leongatha which made $3.45 per kg.
“Yes, the prices were very good. Bullocks and trade cattle would have been 10c/kg to 15c/kg dearer and cows would have been firm to a whisker easier but it’s very strong.
“We’re seeing it in the store job as well with the feedlots active, making it harder for those looking to restock. There were 5100 at Ballarat on Friday with some South Gippsland interest there and also at Mortlake. The older bigger cattle made $3.20 to $3.80 and the lighter cattle $3.50 to $4.50 per kg.”
There were approximately 1520 export and 400 young cattle penned at Leongatha representing a decrease of 800 head week-on-week.
Rain, shortage boosts beef prices to record levels