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Lamb and cattle prices remain strong at Tamworth markets - Northern Daily Leader

Northern Daily Leader

A strong yarding of more than 4000 head of sheep at Monday's weekly sale enabled the trend to continue, as farmers look to take advantage of new feed.

However, Ray White stock agent Angus Newcombe said he feared the trend would not last for long.

"The market was firm on last week, but in my opinion, this year will be the smallest year for lamb sales in history," Mr Newcombe said.

"A lot of people had to destock their properties during the drought and that meant a lot of stock was sold off.

"Now it's started raining again, a lot of those blokes are looking to restock, but the supply won't be there long-term because a lot of stock was sold off months ago.

"I really expect the market to peak come winter and then start to back off."

Mr Newcombe said the recent rainfall would provide releif to farmers struggling to source feed for their stock.

"I think a lot of guys will have taken a lot of confidence out of the recent rain," he said.

"A lot of blokes are looking to buy lambs to finish off and given the price of feed recently, there was still a slim margin for sellers.

"Cheaper feed such as pellets, has still been in the market of $600 a tonne, which has really made a dent in peoples profit margins."

It was a similar story earlier in the day at Tamworth's weekly cattle sale, which also offered up strong prices for sellers.

However, Elders Tamworth branch manager John Goudge said prices were down from Friday's store sale in Tamworth.

"We had bigger prices on Friday than we did today [Monday], but the market is very strong," Mr Goudge said.

"Light steers were in high demand, while fat cows have gone off the boil a little bit.

"There is still plenty of demand around, which is pleasing."

Much like the lamb market, Mr Goudge said the prices of cattle were making it difficult for restockers to enter the market.

"I'd say anyone who bought before Christmas is in a good position and is likely to seen that price double," he said.

"It's not impossible for restockers to get into the market at the moment, but it is difficult.

"I think if it continues it will be a daunting task for anyone to get back into the market."