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Australian Weekly Cattle Summary

15 August 2014
Meat & Livestock Australia

AUSTRALIA - The following report is a collection of market summaries from the previous week across Australia's territories from analysts at Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA).

South Australia 

Supply jumps

Total SA cattle supply, as reported by MLA’s National Livestock Reporting Service, lifted 29% week-on-week, to 2,545 head, as all markets registered larger numbers. Mount Gambier gained 22%, for 859 head penned, while throughput at Naracoorte was 14% higher, at 1,136 head. Supply at the SA Livestock Exchange doubled week-on-week, for a total of 550 head.

Erratic demand at the SA Livestock Exchange

There was a lift in quality reported at Naracoorte and Mount Gambier this week and prices lifted accordingly. At the SA Livestock Exchange, however, the early sales were strongly supported, but as the market progressed quality tapered off, resulting in erratic demand and weaker prices. Feeder and restocker buyers were active on well-bred store conditioned cattle, although the lightweights received very limited inquiry.

There were a number of high yielding 3 and 4 score cows penned at Naracoorte which sold to slightly dearer trends. Mount Gambier offered a reasonable quality yarding of grown cattle, which sold to solid processor bidding, with grown steers in the highest demand.

Quality lines lift in price

Lightweight D2 yearling steers returned to the paddock at an average price of 148¢, while the medium C3’s to slaughter eased 14¢ to settle on 173¢/kg. Heavy C muscled steers to feeder buyers improved by up to 28¢ and ranged from 185¢ to 210¢, while C3 lines to processors were firm week-on-week, averaging 196¢/kg. Light weight D muscled yearling heifers to restock slipped 3¢ to 22¢, averaging 131¢, while medium C3’s to process were unchanged on 179¢/kg and heavy weights lifted 4¢ to settle on 181¢/kg.

The C3 bullocks eased 1¢, topping at 215¢ before averaging 200¢, while heavy C3 grown heifers were 2¢ dearer to average 173¢/kg. Heavy C3 and 4 beef bred cows sold to processors 1¢ to 3¢ higher this week, averaging 153¢, while D3 lines lifted 4¢ to 149¢/kg. Heavy D4 cows, however, were 9¢ cheaper on 148¢/kg.


Supply lifts

Total Victorian cattle throughput, as reported by MLA’s National Livestock Reporting Service, gained 29% week-on-week, to 11,868 head. Supply at Bairnsdale was firm on 679 head, while throughput at Leongatha and Pakenham lifted 4% and 32%, to 1,161 head and 1,463 head, respectively. Supplies at Camperdown increased 66%, to 643 head, while consignments at Warrnambool improved 35%, to 700 head. Yardings at Shepparton increased 49%, to 2,679 head, while supplies at Wodonga were 30% higher on 4,072 head. Ballarat and Colac both yarded just over 230 head each.

Quality improves at Wodonga

There was a noticeable lift in quality at Ballarat and Wodonga, however quality was mostly plain at Camperdown, Colac and Warrnambool. Grain assisted calves at Pakenham attracted stronger trade demand, while there were greater lines of supplementary or crop finished yearlings at Wodonga. Local restocker buyers at Wodonga operated on all well-bred plainer quality liens, while the absence of three buyers at Warrnambool saw demand ease.

The quality of the cows was outstanding at Wodonga, with leaner cows from NSW selling to spirited bidding. The better finished cows at Camperdown attracted stronger demand, while a recently absent southern processor returned to the Pakenham sale, which helped strengthen the market.

Prices dependant on quality

Medium weight B2 vealer steers to restocker buyers averaged 198¢, while heavier weights to slaughter were 2¢ cheaper on 208¢/kg. Heavy weight B2 vealer heifers to slaughter were 23¢ higher on 210¢, while C2 lines were firm on 183¢/kg. Medium weight C2 yearling steers to feed eased 4¢ to 182¢, while heavy weight C3 yearling steers to slaughter were 2¢ cheaper on 195¢/kg. Medium weight C3 yearling heifers to slaughter decreased 5¢ to 173¢, while D3 lines were 2¢ dearer on 171¢/kg. Heavy weight C3 yearling heifers to slaughter were 2¢ lower on 182¢, while the D3 portion gained 7¢ to 181¢/kg.

Heavy weight C3 grown steers to slaughter lifted 2¢ to 195¢, while the C4 lines were 18¢ cheaper on 179¢/kg. Bullocks were cheaper, with C4 lines averaging around 189¢/kg. Medium weight D3 grown heifers to slaughter gained 6¢ to 164¢, while heavy weight D3 manufacturing steers to slaughter eased 1¢ to 181¢/kg. Medium weight D1 dairy cows were 7¢ higher on 126¢, while D3 cows to slaughter decreased 2¢ to 144¢/kg. Heavy weight D1 and D2 dairy cows were 2¢ to 7¢ cheaper to range in price from 112¢ to 153¢/kg. 


Supply at Roma Store eases

Overall Queensland cattle supply, as reported by MLA’s National Livestock Reporting Service, eased marginally week-on-week, back 2% for a total of 11,710 head. Throughput at Dalby lifted 23%, to 4,367 head, while Roma Prime gained 6% to pen 748 head. Both Toowoomba markets increased their offerings, with Elders up 30%, to 763 head, and Landmark lifting 9%, to 600 head. This was offset however, by a 24% reduction in supply at Roma Store, which yarded 4,200 head, with Warwick also seeing its consignments decline, albeit only marginally, to 1,032 head.

Forecast rainfall lifts buyer interest

There were some good pens of well-bred young cattle suitable for feeders and restockers penned at both Toowoomba sales this week, and Elders also consigned several lines of well-finished supplementary fed yearlings and a few pens of milk veal. There were an increased number of buyers from southern Queensland and NSW at Roma Store due to the forecasts for rainfall in the coming week, with feeder and restocker demand strong on suitable lines. The expectation of rain also lifted restocker enthusiasm at Dalby, with prices lifting accordingly. Contrastingly, restockers were quiet at Warwick, as most of the young lightweight cattle were purchased by feeder operators.

The few heavy weight 4 score cows penned at Roma Store attracted keen export processor demand, with bullocks and cows also in very short supply at Warwick. All classes of cows sold to solid processor competition at Roma Prime.

Prices stronger across most categories

The C2 calves weighing over 80kg sold to restockers 14¢ dearer, topping at 205¢ and averaging 179¢/kg. Medium weight C2 vealer steers returned to the paddock 11¢ dearer, averaging 191¢, while medium weight C2 vealer heifers to slaughter gained 14¢ on 156¢/kg. Light weight C muscled yearling steers to feed and restock improved by up to 28¢ and averaged 195¢, while medium weights to the same orders gained up to 11¢, averaging from 182¢ to 192¢, and heavy steers lifted 4¢ to 188¢/kg. Light 2 score yearling heifers to restock and feed lifted 7¢ to 13¢ for the C muscled lots, to average in the mid-150¢ range, and 30¢ for the D muscles, which averaged in the mid-160¢/kg range. Heavy C3 heifers to slaughter gained 9¢ and settled on 168¢/kg.

The C4 bullocks sold to processors at prices 11¢ to 15¢ higher week-on-week and averaged 176¢/kg. Light C3 and 4 grown heifers were up to 10¢ dearer and returned vendors and average price of 162¢/kg. Medium D2 cows to process eased 2¢, to 111¢, while the D3 and 4 scores were 3¢ and 6¢ better, averaging 129¢ and 138¢, respectively.

New South Wales

Cattle consignments increase

Overall NSW consignments lifted 4%, for a total of 25,741 cattle offered at MLA’s NLRS reported markets this week. Wagga increased 13%, to total 5,700 head, as Forbes gained 8% and penned 3,073 head. Tamworth, together with CTLX yarded similar numbers, for a total of 1,084 and 2,440 head, respectively. Gunnedah offered 1,815 head, increasing 5% week-on-week. The Hunter markets of Scone and Singleton trended differently, as Scone slipped 8%, for 910 penned, while Singleton lifted 11% and offered 620 head in total. The northern market of Armidale again penned low numbers, at 308 head, while Inverell increased10% and Casino lost 15%, of its total and offered 1,188 cattle. Dubbo gained 7% for another large offering of 7,000 head.

Quality remains mixed

On average, quality throughout the state was suited for the restocker and lot feeder purchases, as prime conditioned younger drafts were also offered at the majority of markets. The younger steers totalled 6,613 head, with the heifer portion at 6,534 head, and the yearlings far outnumbering the vealer categories. There were 1,731 grown steers covering all weight ranges, along with 1,547 older heifers offered. Cows made up the bulk of the older cattle yarded, as around 4,600 head were penned at reported saleyards.

Prices trend firm to dearer

The younger steers sold to the restockers and lot feeder orders and trended 2¢ to 4¢/kg dearer. The well supplied prime conditioned heavy weights to the butchers lifted 2¢ and averaged 197¢/kg. Firm to dearer trends were also recorded for the heifer portion.

Heavy weight grown steers to slaughter remained close to firm, to average from 188¢ to 199¢, after reaching a top of 210¢/kg. Cows continued to sell well, and remained firm to 4¢/kg dearer. The plainer 2 scores averaged 122¢, as the better covered 3 and 4 scores averaged from 140¢ to 155¢, with the best reaching 173¢/kg. Heavy weight bulls continue to sell to strong processor competition, with the best reaching 198¢/kg.

Western Australia 

Cattle supply slips

Total WA cattle supply, as reported by MLA’s National Livestock Reporting Service, eased only 7% week-on-week, to 2,569 head. Supply at Mount Barker eased 7%, to yard 425 head, while throughout at Muchea was 6% lower on 2,144 head.

Quality mixed

There were some good lines of well-finished trade cattle yarded at Muchea, along with a better selection of grown steers and heifers. There were only a few lines of well-finished grain assisted grown steers and yearlings at Mount Barker. The cows that were yarded at both markets were mostly in good condition.

Prices mostly ease

Light weight C2 yearling steers to restockers were 48¢ lower on 195¢, while heavy weight C2 yearling steers to feeder buyers averaged 199¢/kg. Light weight D2 yearling heifers to restockers eased 2¢ to 89¢, while medium weight C3 yearling heifers to slaughter were 24¢ cheaper on 192¢/kg.

Medium weight C3 grown steers to slaughter averaged 200¢, while medium weight grown C3 heifers decreased 30¢ to settle on 184¢/kg. Light weight D2 pastoral cows were 25¢ lower on 96¢, while medium weight D3 cows to slaughter slipped 15¢ to 156¢/kg. Heavy weight D4 cows to slaughter were 16¢ cheaper on 172¢, while a large line of light weight bulls for live export eased 5¢ to settle on 175¢/kg.



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