Northern beef producers have mixed opinions on exactly how much longer beef prices will remain at record high levels, as the market soared in Charters Towers on Friday.
With light steers topping at 902c/kg, the lack of rain and scorching temperature was an undercurrent to the question on everybody's lips.
The North Queensland Register took to the Dalrymple Saleyards to ask those in the know: How long do you expect the market to remain this high?
Vince Hillwarner from Charters Towers believed not too much longer.
"I think it's just drying out too quickly," he said.
"People seem to be panicking with this heat. There's a change in attitude, especially with the younger cattle."
Ian Pedracini of Scartwaters Station in Charters Towers expressed similar sentiments.
"We're just waiting for the rain and the rain is not coming at the moment," he said.
"I think it will stay fair for a while yet, there is still confidence in the market.
"There is a lot better cattle coming in now. People are spending a lot more on their bulls because they're making more money, so their progeny are getting better.
"We're getting money, which means we can upgrade everything."
Tully vendor Cameron Smart reiterated the lack of rain up north was a concern.
"The season has come sort of early and everyone's got a bit of rain, but there's been no follow up rain," he said.
"People are selling cattle now because they don't know what is around the corner.
"Some people haven't had enough rain, especially up north here."
Whilst the lack of rain was a concern, other industry figures expressed their confidence in the current market.
John Griffiths of Allandale Station said the market remained strong despite rainfall uncertainty.
"To be honest, I don't know - I don't have a crystal ball, but the market is very strong at the moment," he said.
Julago Cattle Yards manager, Dan Wieland, said he thought the market would remain high for a while longer.
"I reckon it'll last for another couple of months at least," he said.
John Turley of Turley Cattle Company said the market was very positive.
Mr Turley sold 278 Brahman and crossbred heifers, which topped at 672.2c/kg. The average 613c/kg of a 240kg weight returned $1470 per head.
"A very good result and a very strong market at the moment," Mr Turley said.
The next Charters Towers prime and store sale will take place on Wednesday, March 9.
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