Cattle Prices Down, Exports Sluggish

AUSTRALIA - As cattle prices fell again this week across the eastern states, the market is set to enter a very interesting period, says Meat and Livestock Australia. The smaller number of buyers again influenced cattle prices this week, along with the shorter trading week, with the EYCI finishing Wednesday at 390.25¢/kg cwt.
calendar icon 27 January 2012
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Meat & Livestock Australia

While very heavy rain has already brought significant flooding to coastal regions of Queensland and NSW, there are further forecasts for very heavy falls across inland regions in the coming week. If such falls eventuate, the movement of cattle will be significantly disrupted, placing considerable supply pressure back upon the markets.

The rising A$ has contributed to a sluggish start to 2012 for export beef demand, possibly accentuated by the bleak economic outlooks released in the past two weeks by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Australian beef shipments for the first 20 days of January barely exceeded 26,000 tonnes swt (DAFF) – on pace to be one of the lowest export months in recent history. However, the rapid finish to the 2011 beef export year may also be a factor contributing to the slow start to 2012, accentuated by a lack of available beef in January, with many processors still operating at reduced capacity.

In contrast to the cattle market, national lamb price averages increased for most categories this week, assisted by a contraction in yardings – a result of both the shorter trading week and falling prices in previous weeks. Trade and heavy weight lambs averaged 19¢ and 14¢ higher, at 509¢ and 485¢/kg cwt, respectively.

TheCattleSite News Desk

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