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MLA: Weekly Cattle Summary

07 June 2013
Meat & Livestock Australia

AUSTRALIA - This report is a collection of weekly cattle price summaries from each Australian territory by Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA).


Numbers remain similar

Numbers at most selling centres in the south-east corner of the state experienced very little change. Nevertheless, the supply at the Roma store market lifted by 59 per cent following the previous rain affected sale.

However, with the absence of Longreach from the selling program, overall supply across the state at physical markets covered by MLAs NLRS remained unchanged. Buyer representation at the majority of centres was generally good and plenty of restocker buyers filled the laneways at the Roma store sale, and a full panel of buyers at Dalby competed in a generally dearer market.

Prices averaged better

Young lightweight cattle experienced a wide variation in price depending on quality. The general run of well bred lines improved in value by 2¢ to 5¢/kg and more in places, while the lesser quality lines received no change in price. Calves returning to the paddock gained 16¢ to average 168¢, with the occasional pen to 205.2¢/kg.

Vealer steers also returning to the paddock averaged 2¢ better at 173¢, with sales to 190.2¢/kg. Vealer heifers received stronger support from local and southern processors to average 4¢ dearer at 147¢ with the occasional sale to a local butcher at 194.2¢/kg.

A large selection of lightweight yearling steers returned to the paddock 3¢ dearer at 174¢/kg. Medium and heavy weight yearling steers to feed sold to a market 2¢ to 4¢/kg better.

The medium weights were in the early to mid 160¢/kg range, while heavyweights mostly sold around 156¢/kg. Most of the yearling heifers sold around 140¢/kg, while lesser quality lines remained in the 120¢/kg range.

Heavy grown steers to export slaughter averaged 155¢ and sold to 169.2¢/kg. Bullocks averaged 1¢ dearer at 157¢ with some to 165.2¢/kg. Cows across most markets generally enjoyed a dearer trend. Plain condition lines improved 4¢ to average 85¢ and medium weight 2 scores lifted 4¢ to average 93¢/kg. A fair run of good heavy cows improved the most to average 8¢ better at 126¢, with sales to 136.2¢/kg in pen lots.

South Australia

Larger Yardings

There were mixed results for cattle producers following some excellent rainfall in many regions early this week. Many producers took the chance to hold onto stock, while others are still selling plainer condition cattle, which may be the cause to the increased numbers. Millicent has also added to the mix for its first sale in a month.

The SA LE’s numbers rose in a generally good quality yarding, featuring a large percentage of supplementary fed yearlings. They sold to strong competition from the usual buyers who had their numbers boosted by additional operators at mainly dearer levels. Feeder orders were limited to small numbers of yearlings and a few D and E-muscled beef cows.

Naracoorte’s larger mixed quality yarding contained mainly improved quality runs despite some very plain quality yearling heifers being penned. Trade and export competition from most of the usual SA and Victorian buyers was steady, with feeder and restocker orders also active. There will be no sale next week due to new scales being commissioned, with the June 18th the next market.

Mt. Gambier’s similar numbered very mixed quality yarding contained over 100 well bred calves and some magnificent certified grain fed grown steers and heifers that attracted the strongest competition. However, the very plain yarding of young cattle only attracted limited trade competition, and mainly feeder and restocker activity at lower levels.

Millicent’s monthly sale featured a larger mixed quality yarding of mainly young cattle and cows that sold to the usual SA and Victorian buyers.

Erratic Competition

With so many 1 and 2 score cattle being yarded it only created erratic competition from trade and export buyers, with feeder and restocker orders sourcing increased numbers.

Limited vealer steers to the trade sold from 170¢ to 234¢ at prices 10¢ to 20¢/kg dearer. Feeder and restocker purchases ranged from 120¢ to 176¢ with some sales dearer and others cheaper. Vealer heifers in small lines to the trade sold at improved prices from 160¢ to 236¢/kg.

Yearling steer C3 and B-muscled medium and heavyweights sold between 160¢ and 218¢, or 2¢ to 3¢/kg dearer. Feeder and restocker orders sourced increased numbers of steers from 116¢ to 190¢ at mainly lower levels. Yearling heifer C3 medium and heavyweights sold from 150¢ to 211¢/kg at basically unchanged prices.

Grown steers including the grain feds sold mainly between 150¢ and 190¢ at prices unchanged to 9¢ cheaper, or around a 325¢/kg cwt average. The 2 to 5 score medium and heavy beef cows were unchanged to 11¢ dearer selling from 70¢ to 125¢ with the 2 scores faring best due to restocker activity, and mainly 185¢ to 240¢/kg cwt.


Supply eases throughout the state

Total yardings across Victoria dropped 28 per cent week-on-week, with all selling centres operating and the majority of sales yarding fewer numbers. Consignments at Bairnsdale fell significantly by 47 per cent, while numbers at Camperdown were 38 per cent lower compared to last week.

Cattle supply at Shepparton tightened, reducing 48 per cent, while Warrnambool also penned considerably fewer numbers, down 40 per cent. Both Ballarat and Leongatha dropped by a quarter on last week, while Colac and Wodonga yarded 22 per cent and 26 per cent less, respectively. Pakenham was the only sale to improve in numbers this week, yarding 14 per cent more cattle.

Plain quality young cattle

The usual buying groups were in attendance across most markets, as the majority of buyers operated in a dearer market overall. There was limited restocker interest reported at Colac, yet keen local restocker competition was found at Wodonga due to major rain fall. Quality of vealers offered at Shepparton was generally plain, while lean conditioned young cattle at Camperdown reflected the dry season of the last few months.

There were some better quality grown steers and finished yearlings penned at Ballarat, while all categories of grown steers and bullocks at Leongatha sold to strong demand. Grown heifers were well supplied at Warrnambool, while Colac included a better quality selection of grown cattle.

Young and grown cattle prices improve

Heavyweight C3 vealer steers sold to processors 2¢ dearer on 198¢, while medium C2 vealer heifers to slaughter improved 16¢, to average 174¢/kg. Heavy C3 yearling steers to slaughter lifted 6¢ on 189¢, while the equivalent heifer portion increased 3¢, selling between 142¢ and 194¢/kg.

Heavy C3 grown steers to process were 2¢ dearer on 183¢, while light D3 grown heifers to slaughter improved 13¢, averaging 144¢/kg. Medium D3 manufacturing steers to process lifted 3¢ on 165¢, while a large yarding of cows saw heavy D4 grades to slaughter increase 5¢, to range from 110¢ to 130¢/kg.

New South Wales

Yardings decrease

Consignments were 24 per cent lower week-on-week as reported by MLA’s National Livestock Reporting Service, with Casino the only sale to record an increase in yardings, up 43 per cent. Throughput at Singleton and Scone dropped 43 per cent, whilst cattle supply tightened at Forbes and Gunnedah, slipping 35 per cent and 34 per cent, respectively. The lower yardings can be attributed to the widespread rainfall seen across the state this week.

Quality remains mixed

Quality across most markets remained mixed this week, although Armidale and Dubbo did show signs of fair to good quality cattle. Younger cattle were once again most dominant across the yardings, with mostly cows representative of the older cattle sections. Yearling steers were in good supply, representing 21 per cent of the market, whilst vealer heifers and cows each contributed 15 per cent to the total yarding. Light vealer steers were difficult to source, whilst light and medium weight heifers were in ample supply.

Young cattle improve in price

Medium weight yearling steers to feed averaged 170¢, whilst heavier weights generally reached between 130¢ and 185¢/kg. Medium weight vealer heifers to slaughter saw prices between 121.2¢ and 185¢, up 9¢ week-on-week. The equivalent steer portion to restock saw prices generally average 167.7¢/kg. The heavier end of the C muscled grown steers reached 186.2¢, generally down 2¢/kg week-on-week. Heavy D muscled cows to slaughter made from 100¢ to 124.6¢/kg, whilst the medium weights made slightly less, averaging 101¢/kg.

Western Australia

North remains wet

The southern Kimberley and Pilbara regions of WA again saw unseasonal rainfall levels and cool temperatures throughout much of this week. The solid falls have seen some road closures in the north and this may again impact pastoralist’s ability to transport cattle. The traditional cattle grazing areas of the southwest recorded further rainfall during the week, adding benefit to the already solid pasture growth.

Some supply limited

The long weekend at the start of the week created the cancellation of the southwest sale, while Muchea’s sale numbers were lower and Mt Barker being the larger of the two weekly sales. There were only limited supplies of prime trade and heavy weight steers and heifers available, with reasonable cow volumes penned.

Young store grades accounted for the majority of numbers, with only moderate supplies of cattle sourced from the pastoral regions. Local trade and retailer demand remained constant and unchanged for grass and grain assisted trade weight yearlings this week. This was also the case in the very limited supplies of heavy weight steers and bullocks. While heavy weight mature heifer sales were again similar to firm processor inquiry.

Despite starting the week at firm and similar demand levels, the cow market recorded a solid slump on demand towards the end of the week with the Great Southern sale seeing falls in averages of up to 20¢/kg lwt. This was also the case in heavy weight bull classes, with these seeing a weakening in processor demand.

TheCattleSite News Desk

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