Small falls this week in prime schedules as the market works its way through the traditionally quiet time of year price wise, but in the US, domestic lean grinding beef has been falling and the market is utilizing stocks until a clear direction emerges.
The first of numbers of weaned dairy beef bulls are appearing in the northern saleyards at levels well ahead of last year, as buyers are optimistic that these animals will meet the future demand caused by the US drought.
Saleyard prime steers in the south fell significantly as the local trade schedule fell and more animals are now being offered.
Spring sales of store cattle are attracting lots of interest but at values that offers little premium for the cost of wintering.
Heavy rain drenched many areas as wild weather swept up the country and delayed the spring pasture peak further into the month.
Milk production is being reported as near peak driven by good winter cow condition and reasonable grass supplies.
NIWA is now predicting normal or above normal temperatures and rainfall for the October December period, which is a much more favourable outlook than previous El Nino forecasts.
The big three milk processors have all released their 2011/12 results which are within 36c/kg ms of one another but none are close to specialty processor Tatua.
Oceania milk pricing is firming with whole milk powders and cheese leading the way although volatility will continue as buyers balance supply with fragile world demand.
The International Monetary Fund is pessimistic about the world’s economic growth, with the risk of recession next year in the Euro zone very high and this continues to be a dampener on present commodity prices.
Among all the doom in meat earning predictions, Taylor Preston has reported that they have made a small profit in a tough year to now record 20 years of positive results.
Farmers nation wide are reporting lifts in lambing percentages as the kind autumn and good survival at lambing time will go some small way to compensate for the pessimistic pricing reports for starting lamb schedules.
Beef and sheep farmer confidence has fallen significantly in the latest Rabobank survey as lower prices, the strong currency and rising farm costs are all predicted to have a negative impact on profit margins this year.
Lamb schedules continue to languish about $30 per head behind a similar stage last year and mutton schedules have not been this low for over two years.
Exporters report some recovery in consumption in key markets but unfortunately it has been driven by lower price inducements.
Small but positive increases in all of the micron price indicators were evident at the last Christchurch sale, but to achieve this passings were still high at 25%.
Mid micron wool has weathered the price drop well, suffering only a 3% drop from last year but other wools are selling for 20-40% less and causing significant falls to sheep farmers incomes.
Deer schedules were static this week as it is feared the spring price premiums have come to an end as companies take a conservative approach to a price sensitive market.
The deer by product markets into Asia are steady at reasonable levels but the weaker US dollar has eroded farmer returns.