BIG restocker activity when the drought breaks could push young cattle prices into uncharted 800 cents a kilogram carcase weight territory, modelling from prominent livestock market analysts Mecardo shows.
Senior market analyst Matt Dalgleish said the Eastern Young Cattle Indicator average price went into the 600c/kg, peaking at 725c/kg, in the season following drought-breaking rain of 2014/15.
"Looking at the current situation with where the herd is sitting and factoring in additional demand out of China, we would be looking at young cattle prices going higher than that as an annual average this time," he said.
"Mecardo has forecast 680c/kg as the annual average, which would push it higher through the season, possibly into the 800 level."
Mr Dalgleish said the modelling showed a similar scenario for heavy steer prices, with the annual average above 600c/kg, however it would likely not be as extreme as the young cattle market.
Back the sheep trade
HAS the wider red meat industry had sheep live export's back as the trade stared down the barrel of calls for it to be banned?
Some in the industry think not, while others say demanding transparency and good practice is not akin to bailing.
John Cunnington, from exporting company Halleen, said there were big reputational issues to consider.
"If Australia starts shutting down industries, customers like Indonesia will ask is it going to happen again and will it be cattle next," he said.
"The cattle people need to back sheep people for this reason, amongst many others."
Cattle Council of Australia and WA producer Geoff Pearson said there were shared challenges all Australian producers faced.
"We're all in it together, it's red meat we are supplying to the world," he said.
Red Meat 2019
PLANS are in full swing for one of the premier beef and sheep meat events on the calendar, Meat & Livestock Australia's Red Meat 2019, which will be held in Tamworth from November 18-20 this year.
From a comprehensive wrap of what it happening in global markets to a glance at the latest in digital innovation and discussion of what sustainability means to the industry, a jam-packed agenda has been lined up.
For those unable to attend, all the action will be livestreamed online through the event's website.
MLA's annual general meeting will be held during the event, on November 20 at the Tamworth Regional Entertainment and Conference Centre from 3.30pm, and members can pre-register to watch the AGM through a secure, members-only livestream online broadcast.
Little NT drought help
NORTHERN beef producers want a drought working group set up and say given the current funding programs being made available by the Federal Government, it's timely.
"To date there has been little drought relief for Northern Territory producers and having a working group will help refine priorities," Northern Territory Cattlemen's Association boss Ashley Manicaros said.
The NTCA is already working with the NT Government on a pastoral rent waiver process for those areas which have been affected by below average rainfall over the last few seasons.