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Where to with Beef Prices?

Greetings Readers

There is a strong linkage between the first two news items below. The significant lift in schedule beef prices in the past six months is lifting demand for beef weaners from this years Friesian bull calf crop.

The US beef cycle has been in a long phase of relatively steady supply rather than the more dramatic earlier cycles of breeding up , heifer retention, price collapse inducing slaughter compounding over supply.

For the past seven years 'next year' for better beef prices from the US has remained just that - next year. It seems ironic that the only reliable factor in this years price for export beef is the continued irrational posturing of our government fortuitously ensuring that the NZ exchange rate stays around 45 cents.

Personally I believe dairy farmers and rearers have never been rewarded reasonably for the relative effort that is involved in their part of the production process of bull beef. It seems that this imbalance will continue with the allocation of changed costs affecting this seasons inputs.

The old South Island adage 'avoid fattening wethers and cattle unless you have deep pockets' may be restating the obvious but early US indications show a need to be cautious with bull beef optimism.

Is the excitement of farming its unpredictability!

The Editor

Contact: editor@farm.net.nz




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