MLA predicts lower beef prices into 2018

WHAT’S NEXT: Meat and Livestock Australia has released its latest quarterly update, which predicts a softening market.

MEAT and Livestock Australia has released its quarterly prediction for the cattle market, and not surprisingly has pegged the market as one that will continue to soften.

A poor July to September rainfall outlook for southern Australia – following the dry autumn – along with a 20-year low cow and heifer slaughter rate and continued volatile global market activity have resulted in a market projection that is weaker than first thought.

The slowly building national cattle herd indicates the peak of the cattle price is likely now behind producers, and downward pressure will continue to slowly mount for the foreseeable future.

Despite this, Australian cattle prices are unlikely to drop back to pre-2013 levels, buoyed by some lingering re-stocker activity when pasture conditions eventually improve.

Interestingly, June 2017 marked a crossroads for the Australian beef industry.

Eastern states’ slaughter consistently tracked higher than year-ago levels for the first time in three years, while at the same time, cattle prices dropped below year-ago levels, also for the first time in three years.

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