AT this week's Warwick cattle sale the combined livestock selling agents yarded 764 head.
- Bullocks and cows sold to a strong market, while vealers and trade cattle were slightly dearer than last week.
- Grain-assisted Limousin bullocks account PW and TE Lamb of Killarney topped the market at 193.6c/kg, weighing 527kgs to return $1021.
- Andrews Family Trust of Killarney sold Angus cross bullocks that were finished on grains and oats for 187.2c/kg, weighing 614kg to return $1149.
- J and D Lawer of Severnlea sold Gelbvieh cross bullocks fattened on pasture for 187.2c/kg, weighing 570kg to return $1067.
- JS and LG Higgins of Texas sold Brangus cows for 158.6c/kg, weighing 550kg, to return $872.
- Kurrabar Livestock of Ballandean sold Charbray cows for 152.2c/kg, weighing 553kg to return $841.
- N Harvey of Liston sold an Angus bull to the works for 170.6c/kg, weighing 1065kg to return $1817.
- IJ and KA Austin of Goomburra sold Angus yearling steers for slaughter at 206.2c/kg, weighing 335kg to return $691.
- The Austin Family also sold milk vealers for 208.2c/kg, weighing 230kg to return $478.
- Wickham Farms of Killarney sold yearling heifers for 204.2c/kg, weighing 315kg to return $643.
- R McMillan of Allora sold Angus cross vealer heifers for 209.2c/kg, weighing 225kg to return $471.
- B and C Williamson of Ballandean sold Charbray vealers for 205c/kg, weighing 229kg to return $469.
- A line of Santa feeder steers from Goondiwindi sold for 196.2c/kg, weighing 304kg to return $596.
- Angus bull account Cranbourne Pastoral Company from Yelarbon weighed in at 865kg and sold for 148.2c/kg to return $1281.93.
- Yearling Angus cross steers account Joppich Pastoral from Ellangowan averaged 355kg and sold for 202.2c/kg to return $717.61.
- Yearling Murray Grey heifers account Thanes Creek Pastoral Company from Ellangowan weighed in at 325kg and sold for 195.2c/kg to make $634.40.
- Yearling Santa cross steers offered by account JM and KM Mahoney from Swanfels averaged 335kg and sold for 180c/kg to make $603.
- Yearling Angus cross steers account C and K Kent Partnership from Goomburra averaged 222kg and sold for 204.2c/kg and returned $453.32.
- Crossbred suckers offered by account Peter Breckhauser from Cambooya weighed in at 44.4kg sold for $98.
- Dorper cross suckers account M Dorge from Kaimkillenbun averaged 39kg and sold for $81.
- Dorper cross lambs account GM and SL Elliott weighed in at 45kg and sold for $85.
- Dorper cross suckers offered by S and J Free topped the sale after weighing in at 43.5kg and sold for $100.
- Crossbred lambs from the Mundine Farming Company at Boggabilla averaged 48kg selling for $86.
- N and M O'Dempsey from Linallie sold crossbred lambs weighed in at 44.4kg sold for $85.
- HJ Wright from Clifton offered crossbred lambs averaged 51kg and made $84.
- Dorper cross lambs account R Thorne from Thulimbah weighed 48kg and sold for $90.
- AF and RJ Sutton from Yelarbon sold Dorper cross suckers averaging 44kg and selling for a sale top of $100.
A landholder's take on the market
FORGET the high prices of last season: If Inglewood sheep producer Geoff Elliot had his way, the emphasis would be on "sustainable".
A year ago the Southern Downs grazier sold 47kg prime lambs through Warwick saleyards for record breaking amounts pushing $160 a head.
This month he sold similar breed and weight lambs through our local selling complex for $85.
"Last year was ridiculously high for the industry," Mr Elliot said.
"How could they process then on-sell the product and there be any margin with prices like that? Someone had to have lost money."
This season the equation has turned with producers struggling to cover costs with prices for well-finished lambs hovering anywhere from $60 to $90.
"We need sustainable prices for both the processors and the producers," Mr Elliot said.
"What we don't need is record prices.
"I don't even think the term record should be needed in terms of the market."
The producer, who runs a mixed grazing operation on his property Verona, would prefer the market stabilised between $90-100.
At home his focus is on turning off prime lamb grain-fed for three to four weeks to take them to his preferred turn-off rate of 47kg.
"We take them out of the paddock at about 40kg and then finish them on a grain ration," Mr Elliot said.
"Ideally what we want is a market situation where everyone is making reasonable money; that's what I call good for business."
In the meantime he said he like other lamb producers he will continue to be at the mercy of market fluctuations.
"There are a lot of price differences out there from a consumer perspective too," he explained.
"At the top end of the range, you have denuded and organic lamb chops from Tasmania at $54/kg while run-of-the-mill lamb chops sell for $26/kg."
CATTLE and lamb prices decreased across all categories this week, as the growing need for a spring break has many producers anxiously watching weather forecasts.
With little improvement in overall demand conditions in overseas markets, and an A$ hovering around 103US¢, the ample supply of both lambs and cattle is still putting pressure on livestock prices.
Reflective of the sustained higher supplies in recent months, with substantial numbers heading direct-to-works, the competition for lambs at saleyards is much weaker than in previous years.
The lack of restocker interest has also been felt sharply across the lighter categories, a consequence of the drier conditions and uncertainty as to when the markets will start to regain lost ground, with light lambs (12-18kg cwt) this week averaging 330¢/kg cwt the lowest weekly price since late November 2008.
The benchmark EYCI finished Thursday at 347¢/kg cwt, while trade steers nationally averaged 8¢ lower, at 348¢/kg cwt. A reduced offering of cattle at Queensland markets contributed to varied prices across the state.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.