LIVE export buyers, restockers and international orders for breeding cattle are all playing a key role in the record prices.
Each week it appears that there is a new player in the market aiming to secure a slice of Australia’s beef cattle herd.
Both Wagga and Wodonga have had live export orders placed at the selling centres – with some cattle expected to sail from Portland, Victoria – and others from the traditional northern Australian ports.
And industry sources say export orders have been placed for “breeder" cattle from seedstock producers. It is believed these cattle are destined for China.
Riverina Livestock Agents (RLA) livestock agent and auctioneer, James Tierney of Wagga said the live export orders were “not as notable” this week but were certainly playing a role.
“Certainly there is pressure from the north … we are seeing lots of orders from northern NSW and Queensland,” he said.
Mr Tierney said there had been interest in heifers for the Russian and Chinese markets.
He said most of this buying occurred direct rather than through the selling centres.
“Even though they are not buying out of the saleyards it still puts pressure on the whole job,” he said.
Despite the dizzying high prices Mr Tierney said it was getting tougher for restockers who were seeking replacement cattle.
“It all relates to a supply issue more than anything else,” he said.
Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) figures show the amount of cattle on feed is at an all-time high of 997,765.
In NSW the amount of cattle on feed has increased by 13 per cent in the last year to 358,068.
Meanwhile, Wagga and Wodonga markets returned solid results again this week.
MLA market reporter Leann Dax said there was strong demand at Wodonga from export buyers and feedlots.