Australian Cattle Prices Rise as Rain Curbs Sales, Aids Pasture

AUSTRALIA - Cattle prices in Australia, the world's second-largest exporter of beef, reached a five-week high after rain in some parts of the country boosted the growth of pasture, encouraging livestock demand.
calendar icon 10 November 2006
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Parts of Queensland, the nation's largest beef-producing state, and New South Wales, the second-largest producer, received as much as 100 millimeters (3.9 inches) of rain in the week to Nov.10, the Bureau of Meteorology said on its Web site.

Benchmark beef prices in Australia have slumped 14 percent this year as ranchers flooded sale yards with cattle they couldn't feed as drought curbed pasture growth, and supply exceed demand. Prime Minister John Howard said Nov. 7 the country was battling the ``worst drought in living memory.''

``Recent rainfall in northern New South Wales and Queensland, along with predictions of follow-up showers encouraged some buyers to enter the market,'' Sydney-based trade group Meat and Livestock Australia said today in an e-mailed report. ``Young cattle prices in the sale yards were driven higher'' as farmers bought them to restock their herds and feedlot managers also sought animals.

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