Seller’s remorse at stockyards after strong market shift
THE region is rejoicing as recent significant rainfall has brought a rejuvenated spirit to weekly sheep sales in Warwick.
Prominent stocking agent McDougall and Sons reported in December last year the effects of the drought on the rural economy, epitomised by “light and drought affected stock.”
With many graziers across the region enjoying significant rainfall throughout January and February, stocking agent Ross Ellis has seen a shift in markets over the previous weeks.
“Last week, we had a good rise in numbers, quite a few meeting the market,” Mr Ellis said.
“It (the rain) has given them an opportunity to turn them off feed, they’ve been able to graze from the land.”
While the prospect of a long and dry summer loomed, many breeders opted to de-stock as rising feed and market prices threatened livelihoods.
Unable to forecast changing weather, Mr Ellis said there would always be difficulties for those selling after changing weather.
“There’s always seller’s remorse,” he said.
“It’s the old catch 22 situation – do you feed them and cost yourself a fortune because the feed sources were getting to the astronomical stage.
“These prices are sustainable at the moment, going to see it in the cheap for 18 months.”
Despite 2020 falls exceeding those of previous drought affected years, Mr Ellis believes there is still a long way to go before the markets return to ‘normal’.
“We sort of need two or three normal or average years of rain to get us back to where we were,” he said.
“People have to build up their stock numbers, whether it’s cattle, sheep, goats – we need a few good seasons.
“There will be a change in business for anyone producing breeding stock for the next 12 to 18 months but while there’s showers, we will be smiling.”