The young cattle market is booming across the nation and the subsequent increase in the price of beef is not deterring loyal Australian consumers.

Key points:

  • Cattle prices soar to levels not seen since the 1960s
  • Consumers still purchasing beef despite price rise
  • Farmers reaping rewards of strong market

Continued demand on top of increased rainfall have triggered the spike in cattle prices, which have reached record heights not seen since the 1960s.

Farmers and butchers were relishing the strong market, with baseline beef products now selling for around $5 more per kilogram compared with the same time last year.

Despite the price jump, Mount Gambier butcher Michael Lamond said customers were still showing up to purchase beef products.

“If we went back 12 months ago to see what people are buying, then I’m pretty certain everything would be still the same.”

Cattle at saleyards

Young cattle are in extraordinary demand at livestock exchanges across the nation.(

ABC South East SA: Todd Lewis


“Even at your top end, your scotch fillet, eye fillet, people are still willing to pay the decent money for it.”

Mr Lamond said the industry had “skyrocketed” and he was thankful to consumers for staying the course.

“At the end of the day, people are starting to realise cattle prices are getting higher and don’t look like going down anytime soon.

“It’s nice to see farmers getting good money for their cattle and they put that money back into the economy.”

The Eastern Young Cattle Indicator (EYCI) hit a high of 941 cents per kilogram carcass weight at market’s end, Tuesday.

Those prices have been exceeded in the South East of South Australia with yearling steers fetching an average of 1,015 c/kg carcass weight at Tuesday’s sale in Naracoorte.

Man at saleyards

Stock agent Dale Keatley monitors prices at Mount Gambier and District Saleyards.(

ABC South East SA: Todd Lewis


Mount Gambier livestock agent Dale Keatley said there was great demand for all classes of livestock.

“I don’t want to get too excited, but I can’t see things changing in the short term anyway.

“People are really buying stock with a level of confidence, but they probably need to be looking a little bit at some of the prices they are paying for some of these weaner cattle, some of them look a bit ridiculous.”

Mr Keatley said the strength of the industry had a great flow on effect for the whole economy.

“There’s a lot of farmers with a bit of a spike in the price, that are now upgrading fencing, we’re seeing new cattle yards and hay sheds go up, they’re buying new utes and motorbikes and so what that does is it really gives our whole economy a boost.

“When the farmers are making a few bob, it’s good for your towns.”


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