A PERFECT storm is pushing cattle prices into record breaking territory with south-west beef farmers cashing in.
Meat analyst Simon Quilty said the industry had seen high levels in the past "but never this high".
"So you're going to have the recovery of the food services sector, and I think in general there is a lack of supply of cow meat globally at the moment so that's something else to keep in mind," he said.
"Then, within Australia due to the extraordinary drought, we've had a real decimation of the herd and so you're going to have rebuilding here going on with gusto."
He said cow price forecasts showed this year's average for cows would rise to a whopping 285c/kg live weight, which is a 44 per cent increase on last year's prices.
He anticipated the price would stay strong into next year and sit at an average of 252c/kg.
Mr Quilty said severe drought in Queensland and New South Wales meant farmers were starting to rebuild with gusto and "that could keep these cattle prices firm for the next six to 12 months."
He said the Eastern Young Cattle Indicator's previous high was 725c/kg carcase weight in 2016 and there was a new record set this year when it hit 765c/kg.
Mr Quilty said he expected it to reach 850c/kg by October and November.
While it's good news for farmers, consumers are likely to pay a premium with scotch fillet selling for $44 kg in the south-west.
Camperdown stock agent Alister Nash said it was a perfect storm for beef farmers because of Swine Flu pushing the kill price up and re-stockers trying to buy after two years of drought.
"So it's coming on two fronts," he said.
"Probably two years of drought has decimated the numbers in the north and they've finally got a season and people are re stocking," he said.
"There is export factors that are coming into it as well. We've had swine flu in large parts of the world which has affected the protein market, and that has caused a fairly big void in the protein market and beef and lamb have started to fill that void.
"Everyone would be very positive about the job right at the minute. They've got feed and they've got good prices.
"The bullock sales the last couple of weeks were probably as big as I've seen it."
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