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MLA: Weekly Cattle Summmary

02 August 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

Supply slightly higher

Total cattle throughput this week in SA lifted 22 per cent to around 2,605 head. Mount Gambier increased there supply by 17 per cent, while Naracoorte and the SA Livestock Exchange yarded 2 per cent and 8 per cent more cattle, respectively. Millicent yarded similar numbers to a few weeks ago, to total 280 head.

Less supplementary fed lines

Many cattle lacked the finish of the previous week at the SA Livestock Exchange, apart from a consignment of supplementary fed lightweight heifers that sold to solid demand. Feeders buyers were active on well-bred lines of lightweight steers, however lightweight heifers to feed decreased in price. Light weight cows benefited from some restocker interest.

Supplementary fed lines at Naracoorte decreased week-on-week, while cows were in increased demand. Feeder and restocker buyers at Mount Gambier were active on any store condition young cattle available, while a better selection of grown steers and cows attracted stronger bidding. There was limited restocker and feeder interest at Millicent, with most categories selling to the trade.

Prices varied

Heavy weight vealer steers to slaughter were 7¢ lower on 187¢, while heavy weight vealer heifers were 12¢ cheaper on 183¢/kg. Medium weight yearling steers to feed were 7¢ higher on 184¢, while heavy weight yearling steers to slaughter were 11¢ cheaper on 182¢/kg. Heavy weight yearling heifers to process decreased 8¢ to 179¢/kg.

Heavy weight grown steers to slaughter were unchanged on 185¢/kg. Medium weight D1 cows to slaughter eased 4¢ to 120¢, while the D2’s gained 8¢ to average 136¢/kg. Heavy weight D3 cows to process increased 6¢ to average 148¢/kg. Heavy weight B2 bulls eased 1¢ to settle on 140¢/kg.

New South Wales

Cattle numbers lift

Consignments gained 23 per cent at MLA’s NLRS reported markets week-on-week. Wagga together with Tamworth and Forbes commenced the week with Wagga penning 27 per cent extra cattle, while Tamworth lifted 11 per cent and Forbes doubled their numbers. CTLX Carcoar gained 23 per cent, however Armidale defied the trend to slip 32 per cent week-on-week. Scone and Singleton trended differently, with Scone yarding much the same numbers, while Singleton lifted their consignments by 45 per cent compared to the previous small market. Dubbo finished the week penning 30 per cent extra cattle for 3,440 head.

Quality was mixed

The majority of markets reported a mixed quality offering. Other sales reported numbers of supplementary fed and prime conditioned younger cattle off crop, in their yarding. Younger cattle suitable for lot feeder and restocker purchases, continue to dominate market percentages. Yearlings again outnumbered the vealer categories, with the bulk being yearling steers. Cow categories made up the majority of the older cattle penned, with around 3,488 head offered, an improvement of 29 per cent, week-on-week. Prime conditioned heavy weight steers lifted in number, to around 870 head.

Prices showed little change

Throughout the state the younger steers sold at similar prices. Medium weight vealer steers returning to the paddock averaged 185¢, after reaching 205¢/kg. The same weight heifer portion to processors topped at 177¢, before settling around the 160¢/kg range. Lightweight yearling steers to restocker orders reached 217¢, as the medium weights averaged 190¢/kg. The best muscled lot to the butchers reached 226¢/kg.

Prime heavy weight grown steers and bullocks to slaughter sold close enough to firm, as the best reached 198¢/kg. Cows struggled at some markets, to maintain their firm prices and slipped 4¢ to 5¢/kg. The plainer 2 scores averaged 110¢, while the better covered 3 and 4 scores ranged from 101¢ to 158¢/kg. The better muscled heavy weight bulls averaged 160¢/kg.

Queensland

Consignments increase

A combination of a return of Longreach into the selling program following the rain reduced yardings the previous week, lifted overall supply at physical markets covered by MLAs NLRS by 60 per cent. Once again young cattle made up the vast majority of yardings with 50 per cent of the state now drought declared. Over 1,100 calves from drought affected areas of the state were yarded as producers offload lightweight lines as feed levels become an issue. A relatively small plain quality yarding of heavy grown steers and bullocks were penned along with a fair number of a mixed quality cows. Restockers displayed more interest at some markets early in the week however as the week progressed and more numbers became available buyers were more selective.

Prices ease for young cattle as supply lifts

The supply of calves to restockers exceeded demand an average prices eased by 14¢ to 15¢ with the very occasional sale to 206.2¢/kg. Vealer heifers to local and southern processors improved 3¢ to average 155¢ while butchers at Warwick paid to 215.2¢/kg. Some well bred lightweight yearling steers to feed improved in price to average 180¢ with sales to 195.2¢, while the increased number of lightweight yearling steers to restockers struggled to maintain a firm trend at 174¢, with D muscle lines at 150¢/kg. Heavy weights to feed generally sold close to 160¢ with a consignment of well bred lines reaching 176.2¢/kg. Lightweight yearling heifers received strong support from restockers to average close to 147¢, while D muscle lines continue to sell in the 120¢/kg range.

Export prices fade

Heavy grown steers and bullocks experienced a mixed trend as the week progressed. Values were generally firm to dearer at markets early in the week however by midweek with some processors not operating to full strength prices fell by 1¢ to 5¢/kg and greater losses would have occurred without southern processor support. Heavy grown steers average 163¢ and made to 167.2¢ while the bullock portion made to 169.2¢ to average 160¢/kg. Medium weight 2 score cows generally sold close to firm at 100¢, while good heavy cows lost 2¢ to average 123¢ with the occasional sale to 137.2¢/kg.

Victoria

Yardings lower

Total throughput decreased 11 per cent this week to total 9,323 head. Ballarat and Camperdown experienced the biggest fall in numbers, down 38 per cent and 36 per cent respectively. Colac and Leongatha both reported a 14 per cent decrease, while Pakenham yarded 12 per cent more and Bairnsdale had very similar numbers.

Quality sees demand fluctuate

The majority of centres reported plain or mixed quality yardings this week. Demand was variable, with good lines of young cattle meeting a slightly dearer trend, while export consignments were generally weaker in price.

Consignments at Ballarat, Colac, Leongatha, Warrnambool and Wodonga all sold to the usual panel of buyers. However, two exporters were absent at Camperdown this week and, with limited suitable cattle on offer, restocker and feeder buyers were fairly selective. Pakenham and Bairnsdale also experienced weaker demand and while the usual buying group was present, not all were operating. Export quality was not as good as the previous sale in Shepparton, seeing export buyers reserved. On the other hand, stronger restocker interest was reported at Ballarat and Pakenham.

Prices ease on most lines

Heavy weight C2 vealer steers to processors were slightly cheaper, easing 2¢ to sell at an average price of 186¢/kg. Medium weight C2 heifers lost 4¢ to settle on 180¢, while heavy weights gained 4¢ and averaged 172¢/kg. Medium weight C3 yearling steers to slaughter were up 6¢ and made 201¢, with the heavy weight C3’s up 4¢ to return vendors 197¢/kg.

The medium weight C3 and C4 grown steers were firm in price, making 188¢ and 192¢, respectively. Light weight D2 manufacturing steers were also close to firm, averaging 157¢, while the D3’s were 7¢ cheaper, making 176¢/kg. Medium weight D1 cows lost 10¢ to settle on 115¢, while heavy weights were back 8¢ to make 126¢/kg.

Western Australia

Southwest enjoying moderate seasonal levels

The key cattle producing areas in the southern WA Ag districts recorded further reasonable rainfall this week, boosting their seasonal conditions thus far through winter. With several cold fronts experienced, registered temperatures lifted to moderate levels with the weekend forecast predicting temperatures above 20 degrees. The combination of the higher moisture levels seen throughout July coupled with warming temperatures should greatly aid feed growth levels. Conditions in the far north remain solid following on from the unseasonal wet start to winter this year, while mustering activity in the north remains steady.

Consignments decline

There was a reduction in physical market numbers this week, with both Muchea and Great Southern’s yardings lower than the previous week, while the southwest sale remained minimal in its numbers. There were fewer supplies of pastoral cattle offered in southern markets this week, while the volumes of local trade and heavy weight steers remained tight. Cow numbers were only moderate, with fewer supplies of local yearling store grades also recorded. The limited supply of heavy weight steers and bullocks were predominately sourced from pastoral regions and continued to enjoy steady processor inquiry, with the small numbers making quoting difficult. This was also the case with heavy weight grown heifer sales, while the cow market enjoyed a slight strengthening in local and export processor demand. This could be reflective of the moderate supplies, with prices marginally dearer than the previous week’s quotes. This was also the case in heavy weight bull classes from local and pastoral origins.

Restocker and feeder buyers remain subdued

Local yearling store quality and weight remained mixed. Restocker and feeder demand was more selective this week due to the smaller numbers and mixed quality, while plainer quality store pastoral heifers and steers continued to meet very selective restocker inquiry.

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