Livestock Market Update: Plenty of feed on North Island farms
Caution in the market keeps buoyancy in check
North Island feed conditions benefited from good rainfall in most districts post-Christmas. However, because many farmers had weaned early and moved ewes on after the drought of last year, stock rates were insufficient to take advantage.
While that might have otherwise led to significant activity at North Island bullock and ewe fairs, buoyancy has been repressed by caution around the prospects for export demand for red meat. Prices for heavy steers sit around $2.65 to $2.70 per kilogram, while traditional lighter steers, around 500 kilograms live weight, are averaging $2.80 per kilogram.
Ewe fairs are tracking similarly, with stock numbers through the saleyards lower than last year. Good prices are indicated at the works for the next couple of months, with the main chains having freed up space relatively early this year, as noted, due to farmers selling prior to Christmas.