By Paul Willows
Cattle feeder prices fell, amid increased cattle availability, continued COVID disruptions and the BOM predicting above average rainfall for spring 2022.
Feedlot pricing and transactions covered a spread of $4.50-5.00c/kg, with many feedlots continuing to stay out of the market awaiting further price drops and hoping for increased processor capacity.
The fear of a FMD outbreak has many people nervous, despite veterans of the market maintaining that the likelihood of an infection remains low, particularly if Australia can help Indonesia to bring its disease outbreak under control through vaccination. The 20 July detection of FMD fragments in Melbourne CBD pork was shrugged of my market participants, with these types of incidents occurring more regularly.
Labour issues are still front of mind, with livestock and meat processing firm JBS having more than 100 employees absent this week due to COVID, causing production disruptions, according to feedlot sources. Many processors are still functioning at ~70% capacity or lower amidst chronic workforce shortages.