Late summer rain helps to lift market sentiment
28 February 2013
Better late than never could be the best way to sum up the much needed rainfall for the past week, with many regions across Australia getting their best falls for several months. Wet conditions from Queensland to SA helped to spur both the cattle and lamb market, with the EYCI closing Thursday at 336.50¢/kg cwt – the highest mark since late November.
Assisted by a jump in quality, much needed rain and increasing concerns about a shortage of lambs later in autumn helped to spur increased buyer interest, with trade and heavy lambs kicking above 400¢/kg cwt for the first time in several months. Nationally, heavy lambs finished the week at 426¢/kg cwt, up 35¢ on the previous week, while trade lambs surged 41¢, to 426¢/kg cwt.
Given the very dry past three seasons (winter 2012, spring 2012 and summer 2012-13) across southern Australia, many producers will be hoping the recent rain is the start to a substantial early autumn break and not simply a tease from the recent run of hot and dry conditions. In the north of the continent, after a late commencement to the wet season, some good totals are starting to accumulate, albeit with some inland Queensland regions still blowing dust rather than wiping mud.
On the export market side of the equation, the A$ continued to trade below 103US¢ this week, as renewed concerns over European and US financial stability returned to the headlines. Overall demand for red meat continues to be steady, with export volumes remaining high – largely on the back of higher production and more competitive prices.