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MLA: Weekly Cattle Summary

05 July 2013
Meat & Livestock Australia

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

South Australia

Yardings boost

SA cattle throughput as reported by MLA’s NLRS increased significantly, up 56 per cent week-on-week, mainly due to the SA Livestock Exchange more than doubling there yarding. Mount Gambier lifted there supply 38 per cent , while Naracoorte increased there consignments 59 per cent . Rain during June has helped to improve seasonal conditions and confidence in the short term, with restocker and feeder buyers noticeably present at most markets this week.

Quality generally good

Demand was mainly lower at the SA Livestock Exchange and feeder buyers were very selective in their purchases, despite the growing feed situation. Restockers did aid competition for cows, due to a good selection on hand.

Demand was firm at Naracoorte and quality was generally good. Restocking orders helped to lift young cattle prices, with very few yarded being of plain quality. Competition was strong at Mount Gambier, with the good quality offered mainly attributing to prices rises.

Grown cattle prices increase

Heavy weight vealer steers to feed average 198¢, while heavy weight C3 vealer heifers to slaughter decreased 7¢ to 195¢/kg. Heavy weight yearling steers to slaughter were 3¢ higher on 191¢, while heavy weight yearling heifers decreased 2¢ to average 177¢/kg.

Heavy weight grown steers to slaughter gained 9¢ to 184¢/kg. Medium weight D3 cows to processors ranged from 104¢ to 146¢, to average 132¢, up 6¢/kg. Heavy weight D3 cows to slaughter lifted 10¢ to range from 101¢ to 147¢ and settle on 138¢/kg.


Supply eases

Queensland cattle supply as reported by MLA’s NLRS slightly lifted 3 per cent week-on-week, as Roma Store sale yarded 17 per cent more cattle. Dalby supply lifted 5 per cent , as 40 per cent of the state is now drought declared, while numbers increased around 20 per cent at Roma prime.

Rain across the south east of Queensland this week reduced numbers at Warwick by 48 per cent , while supply at Toowoomba Elders increased and Landmark reduced. Longreach saleyard offered 2,891 head, easing 5 per cent week-on-week, with the next Longreach sale to be on the 17th July.

Demand strong

Despite light rain falling at both Toowoomba markets, restocker buyers lacked enthusiasm, however at Roma store restockers packed the laneways and there was strong bidding on good quality lines of light and medium weight steers. Feeder buyers were active at most markets helping to push price higher, especially were quality suited. Processor demand remains active, with plain condition cows at Dalby experiencing strong competition.

Young cattle generally dearer

Calves to restockers were 6¢ lower on 172¢, while vealer heifers to feed decreased 5¢ to average 151¢/kg. Light weight yearling steers to restock lifted 8¢ to 186¢, while medium weight yearling steers to restock gained 16¢ to 185¢/kg. Light weight yearling heifers lifted 14¢ to average 154¢/kg.

Light weight grown steers to slaughter decreased 14¢ to 122¢, while bullocks to slaughter gained 6¢ to average 170¢/kg. Light weight grown heifer to process lost 7¢ to 123¢/kg. Medium weight cows to slaughter lifted 5¢ to 126¢, while heavy weight cows were 4¢ higher on 131¢/kg.

New South Wales

Cattle numbers fall

Wet weather around the northern parts of the state contributed to consignments easing around 22 per cent at MLA NLRS markets week-on-week. Wagga commenced the week yarding 21 per cent fewer cattle, as Forbes halved their consignments. The majority of markets maintained fewer cattle compared to the previous week, however Dubbo and Goulburn defied the trend to increase their numbers. Casino recorded the greatest reductions due to wet weather to yard only 855 head.

Quality mixed to a shade better

The majority of markets reported a mixed quality offering, however CTLX Carcoar penned good quality, as Dubbo yarded its best offering for some time. Quality is expected to improve as some cattle will manage to finish on a high standard of winter crops.

Younger cattle continue to dominate market percentages, as cow categories made up the bulk of the older cattle penned. Again equal numbers of vealer steers and heifers were penned, as 81 per cent of steers continue to be sold to lot feeder and restocker orders.

Around 37 per cent of the heifer portion sold to the same orders. Yearling steers outnumbered the heifers, as the majority again sold to restockers and lot feeders. There were 721 head of prime conditioned heavy grown steers and bullocks sold. Even with smaller numbers, cow consignments increased 6 per cent week-on-week.

Prices on average lifted

Vealer steers returning to the paddock remained firm to 6¢ dearer, as prime heavy weights to the butchers sold close enough to firm, with only quality in places contributing to some price variations. Vealer heifers on average sold a few cents either side of firm.

Yearling steers and heifers enjoyed similar gains, most selling 3¢ to 6¢/kg dearer to restocker and feeder orders. Prime heavy weight grown steers and bullocks lifted 6¢, as the older heifers improved 2¢/kg. Cows trended dearer by 5¢ to 9¢, as the 2 scores averaged 109¢, while the 3 and 4 scores ranged from 90¢ to 149¢/kg.


Supply slightly reduced and more variance in quality

Most centres had reduced numbers as the overall decline in yardings from the markets covered by MLA’s NLRS was down 7 per cent week-on-week. Wodonga’s supply went against the trend and increased 40 per cent .

Quality at all markets remains mixed, however greater supply of good quality came forward. This included a better run of vealers at Pakenham, a good offering of heavier beef and dairy cows at Camperdown and generally good lines of young and grown cattle at Wodonga. In the yearling section, heifers are providing a better selection for trade buyers at some centres.

Usual buyers and better prices

Generally the usual following of buyers were at markets this week, however less trade support was noticed. Exporters were operating as they try to secure adequate supply, while restockers were more selective. Prices for all categories of cattle were dearer with some fairly widespread ranges seen.

Most categories were 3¢ to 8¢ higher but some centres saw prices 10¢ and even up around 20¢/kg dearer than last week. This included cows at Colac and grown heifers at both Leongatha and Wodonga markets. Most categories of cattle at Wodonga were up around 10¢ to 15¢/kg dearer.


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