Strong end to the year for livestock industry

23 Dec, 2008 03:57 PM
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Beef cattle markets generally ended the last full trading week on a strong note, with national cattle price averages between 4pc (feeders) and 13pc (Japan ox) above the 2007 closing prices.

Export prices have been assisted by the lower $A, though sluggish global demand has seen only a small portion of this advantage fed back to Australian exporters and cattle markets at this stage.

Lambs have posted record finishing prices, with heavy lambs at 441¢/kg cwt, 50pc higher than last year's, and over 30pc above the previous record for this time of the year, in 2003.

Unlike the cattle market, low New Zealand lamb supplies, tight Australian heavy lamb numbers and solid demand have already allowed most of the $A fall to flow back to Australian lamb exporters and lamb markets.

Mutton markets finished a little stronger, at a near-record 183¢/kg cwt (the record was 187¢/kg cwt in 2003), reflecting again the lower $A. This result has rekindled restocker demand in the wake of prospects for a better season following the widespread rain in may areas.

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Australia's live animal trade is nothing but a blood stained industry that suits those who