Cattle prices hit a record high at the Roma Store Sale this week, following predictions of price improvements in 2020.
Cattle prices hit a record high at the Roma Store Sale this week, following predictions of price improvements in 2020.

Cattle prices hit record high at Roma sales

PREDICTIONS that cattle prices will rise have come true in Roma, where the local store sale has recorded some of its highest prices in nearly two years.

Sale-topping Droughtmaster Murray Grey cross steers sold for a whopping 400c/kg at Tuesday’s store sale, reaching a top of $956.

The upturn has delighted Maranoa Councillor and portfolio chair for the saleyards, Peter Flynn.

“February has started strongly at the Roma Saleyards and I am hopeful we will see these strong prices continue,” Cr Flynn said.

“The Roma Saleyards is a fantastic asset to beef producers within and beyond our region.”

Earlier this month, Meat and Livestock Australia released its 2020 Cattle Industry Projections report, which tipped cattle prices to rise, in part as a result the national cattle herd set to shrink to a record low.

Thanks to a number of international factors like exchange rates and overseas production, along with some recent rain in parts of the country, the projections indicated “historically high (if not record) prices will likely be reached and maintained in the next few years”.

In addition, the forecast shrinking supply combined with robust demand for beef both domestically and international will continue to drive prices upward.

“The global protein market experienced an exceptional year in 2019, with the impact of African Swine Fever in China creating a significant protein deficit and reshaping the global meat trade as more product was directed to the China market,” MLA Senior Market Analyst, Adam Cheetham said.

“Australian beef exports were very much part of this shift, with exports to China growing 85 per cent and the market emerging as Australia’s largest market by volume.

“The protein deficit in China is set to be just as apparent in 2020, but many shifts in the global landscape will impact how this unfolds, including the US-China trade relationship, production and policies from South American suppliers and policy shifts within China itself.

“Demand for beef from many other key markets around the world remains robust, but buyers must now compete more fiercely for that product.”

As for seasonal improvement, recent rainfall may further drive support for Australian cattle prices, but only if there is follow-up rain.

Should it transpire, and thus improve pastures, restockers, feeders and processors will compete for a reduced pool of livestock.

“Young cattle and breeding stock prices will be influenced significantly by the extent of the improvement in pasture availability,” Mr Cheetham said.

“Even without good rain, finished cattle prices should remain at historically high levels as a result of the strong demand fundamentals.”

The Roma Store Sale-topping cattle came from local vendors, LH and JD Schier, of Glenlea, Roma.