Rural property owner John Baker
Rural property owner John Baker Chris Ison

Graziers capitalising on strong CQ beef prices

GRACEMERE cattle sale yardings have soared from 1850 to 3,600 head in just under a month but John Baker says it's nothing to worry about.

The middle mount grazier and CQ Agforce President knows the rise in cattle numbers comes down to two things; seasonal conditions and capitalisation on good prices.

With everything looking pretty dry around this time of the year people will be looking to off load any cattle they can in order to budget for feed over the coming year.

"(People) will be thinking if it doesn't rain soon how many cattle they have on board and how many they can carry through to the end of the year," John said.

"They will be getting rid of anything they think may be excess to what they can carry."

"Cattle prices are also really good at the present time also too so it's a good opportunity where as if they wait til a bit later on when it gets really dry obviously then the prices are likely to be less then they are now."

John said it was a "win-win" situation for graziers.

"If it stays dry and they get rid of their cattle now then that's a bit of feed they've saved and it's also good prices they're capitalising on," he said.

However if good rain was to fall across the region John believes the cattle numbers would go back around to the 1800 sort of numbers again.

"The 3000 numbers aren't really abnormal anyway. I just think we've got a bit used to some smaller yardings in the last couple of years becuase the cattle numbers have been reduced a lot by the drier seasons for the last few years before that," he said.

"If you go back two, three or four years 3,500 head was not uncommon."

John said if the cattle numbers kept coming in the prices would drop back but but despite the drops they would still be good prices compared with prices two years ago.

"There are nearly close to twice the price they were two years ago," he said.

"The prices are good and the numbers that are coming in now are people capitalising on those good prices but a lot of it's to do with season and I think if we saw some good rain across the region it would dry those numbers up again and hold that price where it is now."


January 13: 1850 head were yarded with a top price of 428c/kg

January 20: 1920 head were yarded with a top price of 408c/kg

January 27: 2406 head were yarded with a top price of 410c/kg

February 3: 3150 head were yarded with a top price of 408c/kg

February 10: 3,600 head were yarded with a top price of 402.2c/kg