IT'S been a tough year for many beef producers, but with the wet season on the way and prices already improving, they should stay positive.
Dry conditions have impacted on operations and the hangover of challenging market conditions saw significant decreases in price. However, the outlook is now improving.
One of the saving graces this year has been the continuing good performance of beef exports, with total monthly exports breaking records in May and July. Exports are forecast to rise by 5% next year, on the back of continued growing demand in Asia.
Declining global livestock herds combined with increased demand worldwide are also putting upward pressure on prices, which benefits Australian producers.
If the wet season delivers, this looks set to be reflected locally, with cattle in short supply in 2014.
There will be pressure from abattoirs, live exporters, feedlots, and producers seeking to rebuild their herds. Already, there are reports of Queensland abattoirs buying out of the south to keep up with demand.
We are in for a much better year ahead.