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Animal market prices

27 October 2005

Animal market prices

Agridata Limited today launched a new and unique service, giving on-farm management a comprehensive way to assess current market prices for specific animal grades.

This service, live-and-free at www.agridata.co.nz is a first for New Zealand.

It sets out prices in a way that farmers can easily access and assess.

Meat processor schedule prices are listed, as are saleyard prices, on a national basis. The service currently covers cattle, sheep and deer, and will be extended in the future to other products farmers sell into the market.

This is a site for both buyers and sellers. It is designed to give comprehensive market information, so that farmers can enter into transactions with good current market knowledge.

It is free, relying on advertiser support.

Agents, processors, and other professional traders have this market information, but until now farmers have had to rely on the 'bush-telegraph' when making a specific selling decision, supported by general media comment and some general market averages. This new service gives farmers access to the same current market intelligence the big professionals have for specific grades.

All markets are best served when willing sellers and willing buyers have good information.

Price information is just one piece of the puzzle when making a decision – it is no more or less important than other aspects.

The site is designed for expert readers. Prices are displayed 'as offered' and there are some variations in the basis between them. Expert readers will know how to account for these variations – we are not adjusting offer prices to be on a "consistent basis", as much of that variation will depend on seller-specific factors.

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Schedule prices are not currently displayed for a few important meat processors – because they do not publish their schedule. This is unfortunate, as we believe it is in everyone's best interest to have accurate and timely information in the marketplace. We further believe that in time, these companies will see the wisdom of making their buying Schedules public. (It does seem odd to us that some meat processors withhold that information – if it is being done so that they can purchase from farmers at below-market prices, it will be a self-defeating strategy in the end.)

The move towards yield-grading has started inside the meat processors, and will eventually result in yield-graded prices being offered to farmers. But the current intricacies of these systems make it far too confusing to use them to purchase animals at present, and each company has a different system and basis. However, when this inevitable technology moves into the purchasing function, www.agridata.co.nz will be ready to display those price options.

The pages on this website have been designed to accommodate slow or poor rural internet service. Each page is small, allowing short down-load times. And the user-friendly menu system is concise, allowing any user to get at exactly what they need without excessive searching.

Our market research indicates that farmers have been looking for this type of service for some time, and is one of their primary requirements that makes on-farm internet service valuable. We anticipate widespread uptake and use.

Because the service is completely independent of all other market channels to farmers (stock agents, rural retailers, meat processors, etc.) users can be confident that information is published 'without fear or favour'. Independence is vital attribute of this service; one we are sure farmers will appreciate.


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