Warwick livestock markets enjoy steady rise in 2015
WARWICK livestock markets had a steady increase in prices in 2015.
McDougall and Sons auctioneer David McIvor said drought conditions across much of the state was the most significant market force for agents and producers.
"What has had a big influence on the grazing industry has been severe drought in much of western Queensland," Mr McIvor said.
"We're fortunate on the Downs that our feed and season through the year has been fairly good, but about 86% of Queensland is now drought-declared, which has had a major impact through the year."
Mr McIvor said despite drought many markets had maintained or improved on 2014 levels.
"Last year we went through a market that was really tough for producers but turned around this year with a gradual rise in the cattle market," he said.
"The cattle markets had certainly peaked through the last few weeks of trading and it's been very strong.
"I guess the numbers that have continued to be sold have surprised a lot of people agents and feedlots the numbers in recent weeks."
Though the cattle market has seen the strongest improvements, Mr McIvor suggested the pig and sheep markets were more likely to remain stable into the New Year.
"With cattle, percentage wise there has been a much bigger increase," he said.
"The sheep market has probably seen a rise in recent weeks welcomed by producers and the lamb market has been very solid throughout the year without seeing any major fluctuations.
"That's better for producers because it means they've got a pretty level market to sell on.
"The pig market's seen a rise in recent weeks and that's been very welcome for producers suffering from low returns in recent years.
"Going into 2016, certainly as far as lamb and pig markets go I think they will probably sustain those prices.
"The cattle market is a bit of an unknown because it depends a bit more on the seasons and overseas meat markets.
"We're very reliant on export meat market for a large part of our returns, particularly the American market, so those to factors market overseas will determine where (prices) go."
Warwick saleyards will continue to operate over the Christmas period.