Weekly Cattle Summary

AUSTRALIA - This report is a collection of weekly cattle price summaries from each Australian state by the Meat and livestock Australia (MLA).
calendar icon 19 August 2011
clock icon 11 minute read
Meat & Livestock Australia

New South Wales weekly cattle summary

Mixed quality

Supply was on par with last week at MLA's NLRS reported markets but around 14% below the corresponding period last year. Dubbo and Gunnedah were the two largest markets and accounted for 36 per cent of the state's throughput. This was despite good rain late in the week reducing numbers at Dubbo.

Young cattle were in larger numbers, as grown cattle accounted for around 40 per cent of the yarding. Of the young cattle 35 per cent returned to the paddock, while feeders secured 26 per cent and 39 per cent were purchased by the trade.

Quality overall was mixed. The generally dry seasonal conditions have taken their toll on pastures resulting in some markets offering greater numbers of plain unfinished cattle. Producers however have been able to offer properly finished cattle which have been either supplementary fed or off crop. There was however some well received rain during the mid to later part of the week will be of great assistance to crops and pastures.

Across most markets and categories prices were generally dearer as any price reductions were due to quality variations. Young cattle ranged from one cent to 10¢ dearer through to three cents/kg cheaper. The EYCI finished Thursday at 385¢ which was up by 11.25¢/kg cwt on last week. The majority of grown cattle indicators grades were also firm to dearer.

OTH rates were dearer for all categories due to a number of processors adjusting rates. Supply of young prime stock remains tight in some locations, forcing processors to work at a reduced capacity. Demand for MSA eligible cattle has increased, with contributors lifting rates by 15¢, to a top of 340¢/kg cwt.

Prices improve

Light and medium weight vealers returning to the paddock sold mainly from 226¢ to 236¢ with sales to 265¢/kg. Medium weights to the trade averaged 228¢ to be 13¢/kg dearer. Light vealer heifers to the trade gained 11¢ to average 232¢ as the medium weights lifted five cents to sell around 219¢/kg.

Large numbers of light yearling steers to restockers averaged 220¢ as feeder purchases were closer to 207¢/kg. The medium weight to feed went against the trend to be three cents cheaper at 202¢/kg. Medium weigh C3s to slaughter averaged 215¢ as the heavy weights made around 199¢/kg. The light yearling heifers to feed averaged 196¢ as those to restockers made closer to 205¢/kg. Medium weights to the trade gained 13/c to 211¢ after making to 246¢/kg.

The few medium weight grown steers to slaughter averaged 181c as those to feed sold around 185¢/kg. Lean heavy steers in fair numbers and C4s averaged 185¢/kg. The few bullocks mostly sold in the early 180¢/kg range. Medium weight D2 cows lifted two cents to average 134¢ as the D3s sold close to firm around 144¢/kg. Heavy D3 and D4 cows sold around 150¢/kg. Good heavy cows sold to 164¢/kg.

Victoria weekly cattle summary

Cattle numbers stable

Overall the supply of Victorian cattle was down only three per cent for the week, but larger falls were recorded at Leongatha, and a drop of nearly 50 per cent was recorded at Pakenham's Monday sale. Other markets managed to keep supply stable relative to recent weeks, despite some wet weather. Numbers are 21 per cent lower compared with the same week in 2010 - continuing the trend of historically low winter yardings in the physical markets.

While a dearer trend was evident for the better quality cattle, a large number of plainer quality grades averaged cheaper, with buyers becoming selective. The Eastern Young Cattle Indicator (EYCI) after Thursday's markets was 11.25¢ higher for the week on 385¢/kg cwt - the highest level since early June.

The large amount of rain late last week had an effect on Gippsland markets, but this was not the only reason behind the dearer price trend. One exporter had some direct to the works cattle cancelled, and had to fill the void at physical markets, boosting competition. This assisted in lifting grown steer and bullock prices. Also affecting price trends was the increase in numbers purchases by feedlots and restockers. The rain gave producers greater confidence of a good season across much of the state, which pushed up restocker cattle prices. Butchers had to lift their prices due to the short supply of top quality vealers and supplementary fed yearlings.

There was some very strong demand for cows, particularly lean one scores. This interaction lifted the carcass weight price average to 298¢/kg cwt.

Cattle prices edge higher

The best quality supplementary fed vealers and yearlings sold to a top of 272¢ with a reasonable number of sales above 250¢/kg. Vealers mostly sold from 188¢ to 250¢, and averaged around 214¢/kg with plainer quality affecting the average. The majority of C muscle yearling steers and heifers sold to a dearer trend with the steers selling from 180¢ to 225¢/kg. Heifer prices mainly ranged from 176¢ to 212¢/kg. The slightly under conditioned, D muscle yearlings ranged between 160¢ and 198¢/kg, with restocker competition helping prices.

Strong competition for lines of good quality C muscle heavyweight steers and bullocks resulted in many sales averaging dearer, with prices ranging from 188¢ to 210¢/kg. The extra processor competition helped heavy bullocks make from 178¢ to 197¢ to average 188¢/kg. Competition between wholesalers and exporters for grown heifers resulted in sales from 165¢ to 195¢/kg.

Lean cows sold very well with a lot of potentially lower yielding cows making between 120¢ and 142¢/kg. Medium and heavyweight lines with a bit more cover ranged from 145¢ to 173¢ for better quality beef cows, as processors paid around three cents/kg more for cows.

Queensland weekly cattle summary

Supply unchanged

Supply across the state at physical markets covered by MLA's NLRS remained close to the previous weeks level. Despite a general lift in values last week numbers at Dalby fell 20 per cent, however Longreach went against this trend with supply lifting 35 per cent. Numbers at the Roma prime sale almost doubled the previous weeks level.

Quality remains mixed with some secondary light cattle penned at Longreach and several large consignments of good quality bullocks boosted numbers at the Roma prime sale.

Buyer attendance was generally good at most markets with the major export processors present and operating, while a few extra feedlot buyers from the south-east of the state were present at the Roma store sale.

Values for most young cattle continued to climb with strong support from restockers on calves and lightweight yearlings. Regardless of the 80 per cent increase in the supply, vealer heifers to local and southern processors improved a further seven cents/kg. This trend also flowed onto lightweight yearling heifers which gained 10¢/kg. Medium and heavy weight yearling steers to feed experienced improved competition with average prices lifting two to three cents/kg.

Heavy steers and bullocks to slaughter across all markets were firm to two cents/kg dearer, however at some centres price improvements of two to five cents/kg were recorded. Cows experienced a mixed trend with plain condition medium weight cows gaining ground, while good heavy cows generally remained unchanged on the improved recent prices. The strong demand for export classes flowed onto the bulls and prices improved around eight cents/kg.

Most classes dearer Calves to restockers made to the occasional 250.2¢ to average nine cents dearer at 231¢/kg. A large number of vealer heifers to slaughter averaged seven cents dearer at 204¢ with sales to 248.2¢ recorded on a number of occasions. Lightweight yearling steers to restockers were well supplied and averaged two cents better at 220¢ with sales to 238.2¢/kg.

Medium weight yearling steers to feed mostly sold around 199¢ with a few well bred steers to 225.2¢/kg. A fair sample of heavy yearling steers to feed improved three cents to average 185¢ with sales to 190.2¢/kg. Lightweight yearling heifers to slaughter lifted 10¢ to average 201¢ as a few pen lots making to 218¢/kg. Medium weight yearling heifers to the local trade market made to 237.2¢ and feeder categories averaged 176¢/kg.

Heavy steers to export slaughter averaged 175¢ while a fair supply of bullocks averaged 174¢ with some supplementary fed lines reaching 184.2¢/kg. A handful of certified grain fed bullocks made to 188.2¢/kg. Medium weight two score cows averaged 122¢ and 3 scores 134¢/kg. Good heavy cows made to164.2¢ with most at 148¢/kg. Heavy bulls made to 174.2¢ to average 163¢/kg.

Western Australia weekly cattle summary

Season improves in south

Most areas in the south western land division recorded further good rain during the early parts of the week. The remainder of the week was fine and dry with mild day time temperatures recorded, while nights were cold. The solid moisture levels throughout most of the winter period in southern parts of the state have now set the season up for at least an average spring growing season. Forecast for the southern regions have predicted further rain across the weekend and into early next week.

Pasture growth over the past six weeks or so has been very solid for this time of year and levels are continuing to rise. The northern pastoral areas continue to enjoy healthy feed and growing conditions.

Cattle supplies at physical markets rose, primarily due to the addition of My Barker, which held its last sale of the fortnightly fixtures with sales in September returning to a weekly roster system. Muchea's yarding was marginally larger, while Mt Barker's total was healthy for this time of year.

As has been the case recently the supplies of pastoral cows, steers and heifers were all large with these grades showing the benefit of the current good seasonal and feed conditions in the north. Local cows supplies were fair due to the numbers offered at Mt Barker, while the supplies of trade and heavy weight local steers and heifers remained confined.

Cow market firm

Vealer supplies continued at low levels with those offered generally being lightweights. Demand from the processing, local retail and restocker sectors remains strong and the market is yet to record any decrease to prices. There was again a reasonable weight and quality available in supplementary fed yearling steers and heifers. Once again local trade demand remained buoyant with the recent market levels maintained. Grass finished yearlings were again of a mixed quality and weight. Prime drafts of both sexes maintained their price levels under constant processor and retailer demand. There were good supplies of locally sourced store yearlings with a good spread of numbers throughout the classes. Demand from both the trade and restocker sectors continued at high levels with most classes recording firm to slightly dearer prices.

Local heavy weight steer and bullock values were maintained, while pastoral classes recorded falls of between 10¢ and 15¢/kg. Heavy local cows started the week at lower prices, but this recovered as the week progressed with overall average being firm, while there was no change in prime pastoral cow values.

South Australia weekly cattle summary

Numbers retreat sharply

Numbers fell at the SA LE's, Naracoorte was also reduced following last week's large increase. Mt Gambier also offered a smaller yarding, with Millicent reverting back to a fortnightly sale.

The SA LE's improved quality runs contained mainly young cattle, although there was an increase in cow numbers. The usual local and interstate trade and processor buyers were operating, with some exceptional supplementary fed yearling attracting strong demand at dearer levels. Only limited numbers of vealers were offered that led to feeders sourcing the light and medium weight yearling steers and some heifers. However, the trade secured the majority of the yearling steers. Limited numbers of grown steers, grown heifers and manufacturing steers tended to sell at dearer levels, with the D2 medium weight cows dearer and the D3 heavyweights being slightly cheaper.

Naracoorte's overall quality took a dive on last weeks large runs, and was probably the reason for an additional Victorian wholesaler being present. However, despite the quality slipping on the young cattle; grown steers and cows were in good quality runs, with the cows attracting very strong Victorian processor demand at generally dearer levels.

Mt. Gambier had a much improved quality yarding of grown steers and bullocks together with beef and dairy cows, while young cattle quality was variable. However, just about all categories attracted a dearer trend due to the smaller numbers being offered in SA and Victoria.

Millicent attracted strong trade and processor inquiry.

Fluctuating trends

While it was a generally dearer priced sale week, there were still fluctuating trends for some categories. Vealer steers to the trade on small lines were from 207¢ to 259¢, with isolated sales dearer and others unchanged to 13¢/kg cheaper. Feeders and restockers generally paid between 186¢ and 215¢/kg for mainly lightweight C2 Angus steers. Vealer heifers to the trade and some local butcher inquiry sold from 184¢ to 250¢ or unchanged to 15¢/kg dearer.

Yearling steer C3 and B muscled sales ranged between 185¢ and 257¢ with supplementary feds at the higher end, to be three to seven cents/kg dearer. Feeders and restockers sourced C2 and C3 medium and heavyweights between 184¢ and 208¢, also at dearer levels. Yearling heifer C3 and C4 medium and heavyweights sold from 165¢ to 219¢ to be six cents to 12¢/kg dearer.

Grown steers and bullocks in improved quality runs sold mainly from 170¢ to 194¢ to be three to nine cents dearer, and generally 315¢ to 345¢/kg cwt. The D3 to C6 medium and heavy beef cows to solid processor competition attracted prices between 130¢ to 169¢ with the pastoral breds 138¢ to 155¢, to be unchanged to six cents dearer or 280¢ to 320¢/kg cwt.

TheCattleSite News Desk

© 2000 - 2024 - Global Ag Media. All Rights Reserved | No part of this site may be reproduced without permission.