Most of the manufacturing cows have gone through the processors for the time-being and gaps are starting to appear in space.
That has turned the attention to prime beef to fill the holes. But two years of drought for some regions - which resulted in cattle heading to the processors earlier than usual as well as slower growth rates - has meant that prime cattle are proving to be hard to find. That is putting the ball firmly into seller’s courts as sale yard results show a lift in prices for the limited supply of finished cattle that are available and is also having a positive effect on short-term lines that still need some finishing. Rangiuru offered up the best line-up of prime steers last week as 50 traditional and exotic cattle weighed 640-730kg and lifted in price to $2.92-$3.06/kg. Other yards were able to surpass $3.00/kg for the right types of cattle. At South Island yards prime steer prices lifted 20-40c/kg.