THERE’S no doom and gloom for the Border’s cattle producers — as long as it rains.
That’s the verdict from those in the industry as Wodonga’s annual weaner sale wrapped up yesterday.
North East Livestock Exchange operations manager James Thompson was pleased with the overall success of the four sale days, despite prices being lower than last year.
The lack of northern NSW and Queensland buyers due to the ongoing drought was also felt.
Yesterday saw 4927 head of Euro-cross and Hereford heifers and steers in the pens, fetching up to 180 cents/kilogram for the heavier animals.
“Considering we didn’t have the northerners come down, it was pretty good and I think that’s a testament to the quality of the cattle,” Mr Thompson said.
“We were actually in a very similar situation last year, as far as the dry weather’s concerned — prices were back a bit but probably some of the heavier cattle helped.”
Corcoran Parker agent David Meehan agreed, saying that some of the prices fetched were slightly dearer than last week.
“There was a lot of good cattle there and the better end of them sold very well compared to what it (the market) has been doing,” he said.
“It’s been pretty good and I’d say everyone’s pretty happy.”
Most of the buyers were local, Mr Meehan said, barring a handful who made the journey from up north.
Despite the slow start to the year, he remained optimistic the beef cattle industry would be secure this year, though more rain would certainly help.
“That stuff that falls from the sky seems to dictate most things,” he said.
“If it rains, things are good... but it looks pretty positive with the export market as well, I would have thought, with the dollar doing pretty well.”
Mr Thompson said the sales had run very smoothly, with more than 7000 head of cattle in the pens last week and about 9000 this week.