BOOMING cattle prices were yesterday set to become an important driver of across-the-board business optimism in the Gympie Region.
Improved prices continued yesterday as more property owners in drier areas saw a rainfall led recovery in their own pastures and livelihoods.
It is an optimistic trend which Gympie auctioneer Dan Sullivan says should continue through the year.
Speaking after yesterday’s cattle sales at Gympie Saleyards, he described prices as “strong, with a mixed quality yarding.”
Demand was high despite the difficulties some graziers were experiencing getting cattle out of muddy paddocks.
“And a few buyers didn’t come in because they would have trouble getting the cattle in after buying them,” he said.
“But as things dry out we will see a lot of them re-stocking.
“The steer market should stay strong as people see a change in their fortunes and re-stock.”
He said properties further out west will also be restocking after the drought and now after the floods, as soon as the waters recede and pastures begin to grow back.
“People out further in the west will come back into the market as soon as they see a bit of grass in front of them,” he said.
“That will take another three of four months though,” he said.
Mr Sullivan said prices had been on the improve ever since the year’s first sales, which also benefited from recent rain in drier near-Gympie regions.
“We had strong prices today,’ he said.
“Heavier steers made up to about $1.86 or $1.87 a kilogram live weight.
“The better quality weaners fetched $1.75 to $1.90,” he said.
Mr Sullivan said turnover and yarding numbers should improve as pastures dry out to some extent locally, making it easier to access paddocks and get cattle to and from the market.
“Out west, they’ll drive around the paddocks to see how feasible it is for them to re-stock too,” he said.