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TAS Country : February 10th 2011
Friday, February 11, 2011 Tasmanian Country 5 News KUBOTA S EXTENDED FESTIVE SEASON FINANCE! NOW UNTIL 28 FEB Offer applies to tractors delivered before 28 February and is subject to stock availability. *Based on 30% equity, 36 equal monthly repayments, no balloon on a chattel mortgage to approved business applicants only. Terms, fee and conditions apply. Burnie 6431 3255 Devonport 6424 1511 Hobart 6263 6377 Launceston 6343 1633 Smithton 6452 1222 Just 4.95%* Finance on Kubota Tractors 34 to 135 HP only p.a. Good news for livestock producers KAROLIN MacGREGOR THE latest outlook for beef and lamb markets is good news for Tasmanian livestock producers. Meat and Livestock Australia this week released its cattle and sheep industry projections, which point to strong demand across both sectors. MLA senior economist Sylvia Athas said lamb prices were expected to remain at record levels during early 2011, but are likely to ease later in the year as supply increases. ''The Australian flock is expected to grow by two per cent as the favourable seasonal conditions in the eastern states produce exceptional lambing rates and continue to stimulate strong restocker demand,'' she said. While eastern parts of the country enjoy good seasonal conditions, in Western Australia the continuing drought is having a major impact on sheep and local processing. However, across the country lamb production this year is expected to increase by seven per cent to 436,000 tonnes. Despite the high value of the Aust- ralian dollar, demand for Australian lamb is predicted to increase, with exports forecast to rise by seven per cent in 2011 to a record 167,000 tonnes. The Middle East is expected to become Australia's largest export mar- ket for lamb. Growth is also predicted in South-East Asia and China. Domestic lamb consumption this year is predicted to rise by seven per cent to 236,000 tonnes. Ms Athas said a lack of supply of suitable cull wethers, particularly from WA, would see live exports to the Middle East fall by as much as six per cent, or 2.8 million head. However, she said mutton exports were expected to increase by 12 per cent this year. The outlook for cattle producers is also bright, with the MLA predicting that a global supply and demand imbalance could push up prices. MLA manager for market infor- mation and analysis Tim McRae said while the outlook for grass-fed producers was encouraging, it would be a tough time for the grain-fed sector. ''With the unfortunate exception of Western Australia, drought-breaking rains and above-average cattle prices provide an opportunity for financial improvement for grass-fed producers, particularly breeders,'' he said. ''Looking ahead, the fundamentals indicate we are entering a period of rejuvenated demand, lower global beef stocks and higher prices, which will serve to help offset the impact of the currently high Aussie dollar.'' However, Mr McRae said that in the grain-fed sector, rising grain and store cattle prices, combined with sluggish demand in the Japanese grain-fed mar- kets and the high Australian dollar, would put the squeeze on margins. He said while conditions were ex- pected to improve this year, producers would still face some difficult decisions. ''Producers now have a tough balanc- ing act on their hands -- rebuilding their drought- and in some cases flood- depleted herds, while at the same time maintaining cash-flows, reducing debt and capitalising on the expected better markets,'' Mr McRae said. He said most of the world's cattle herds were now declining at a time when demand was increasing. Australian beef and veal exports are predicted to increase by three per cent this year to 953,000 tonnes. Most growth is expected in Russia, the Middle East and South-East Asia. 50th Ross Rodeo is a crowd-puller TOP: Eight-year-old Denvah Mills and her horse Dez compete in the junior barrel race. ABOVE: Wade Rehn comes off bull Artworx. COVER: Wade Rehn on Ice Pick, the state's leading bucking bull. Pictures: Jimmy Emms Up to 4000 people attended the Ross rodeo on Saturday. It was the 50th anniversary of the event and the crowds lapped it up. Bull riding, chainsaw artist Eddy Freeman, bucking broncos and woodchopping entertained onlookers on a beautiful warm and windy day in the historic township. Rodeo secretary Daniel Johnson said he had not done the final count but numbers were definitely up on last year. The fact it was the 50th anniversary helped swell the numbers. ''The number of rodeos may be down this year but the the crowd numbers have been up at all the shows,'' he said. Mr Johnson competed in rodeos for seven years before taking on a position on the committee. ''I saw that we needed more people to help out,'' he said. The state's rodeo organisers have been reassured by big crowd numbers after allegations of animal cruelty, which they reject.
February 3rd 2011
February 17th 2011