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Australian Weekly Cattle Summary

05 September 2014
Meat & Livestock Australia

AUSTRALIA - The following report is a collection of market summaries from the previous week across Australia's territories from analysts at Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA).

South Australia

Supply boosts

Total SA cattle supply, as reported by MLA’s National Livestock Reporting Service, increased 42 per cent week-on-week, to total 4,240 head. Mount Gambier saw numbers lift 34 per cent, to 1,193 head, while throughput at Naracoorte almost doubled, to reach 2,602 head.

The SA Livestock Exchange penned 37 per cent more cattle following last week’s small yarding, for a total of 445 head, according to MLA.

Cow demand erratic

Quality was generally mixed across all markets and reportedly declined somewhat at Naracoorte compared to the previous sale. Apart from one Victorian processor’s absence at the SA Livestock Exchange, the usual array of buyers were present and operating this week.

MLA analysts write that feeders and restockers were prominent at both the SA Livestock Exchange and Mount Gambier, and young, well-bred cattle met with good demand. Cows experienced mixed processor interest, with quality generally quite poor at the SA Livestock Exchange and demand weak, while bidding at Mount Gambier was spirited. There was some very good B and C2 heavy bulls penned at Naracoorte this week.

Prices vary on quality

Heavy weight C3 vealer steers to slaughter eased 8¢ this week, to average 201¢, while their heifer equivalents gained 1¢ and settled on 188¢/kg. Medium weight C2 yearling steers to feeders improved 2¢, to 180¢, while the C3 steers were purchased by processors 3¢ cheaper and averaged 195¢/kg. Lot feeder buyers bought heavy C3’s at an average price of 204¢, up 22¢, while those to slaughter lifted 3¢ and averaged around 194¢/kg. Medium weight C3 yearling heifers to slaughter were back 3¢ this week, to 178¢, while heavy weights to all orders averaged in the early 180¢/kg range.

Heavy C3 grown steers to process eased 5¢, to 190¢, while a fair supply of C3 bullocks lifted 2¢ and averaged 199¢/kg. Heavy C3 grown heifers slipped 5¢ to settle on 169¢/kg. Heavy C3 and 4 beef cows to slaughter was firm to 6¢ cheaper and averaged in the early 170¢/kg range. The D2’s lost 5¢, on 161¢, however the D3 cows lifted 7¢ on average to return vendors 168¢/kg. Good heavy B and C2 bulls lifted up to 13¢, topping at 187¢ and averaging around 160¢/kg.


Supply holds up

Total Victorian cattle supply, as reported by MLA’s National Livestock Reporting Service, lifted 8 per cent week-on-week, to total 14,094 head. Yardings at Ballarat, Camperdown and Colac was firm, while throughput at Bairnsdale eased 39 per cent to 527 head.

Leongatha and Pakenham registered rises in consignments, to 1,369 head and 1,528 head, respectively. Throughput at Shepparton was firm on 3,500 head, while supply at Warrnambool and Wodonga lifted 17 per cent and 10 per cent, to 730 head and 4,900 head, respectively.

Quality mostly plain

Quality remained plain across the majority of markets, however Wodonga again recorded an excellent quality yarding. Average prices at Ballarat were brought down by several sales of Lowlines and Dexter bred cattle. Secondary young cattle at Pakenham and Wodonga were met with strong restocker and feeder support. A large supply of beef cows at Shepparton benefited processors, while there was only a small portion of leaner cow grades yarded at Wodonga.

Prices vary

Heavy weight B2 vealer steers to slaughter were unchanged on 206¢, while the same weight portion of heifers were firm on 199¢/kg. Heavy weight C2 yearling steers to feeder buyers were 3¢ dearer on 198¢, while those to slaughter were 5¢ higher on 203¢/kg. Heavy weight C3 yearling heifers to slaughter gained 1¢ to 186¢, while heavy weight D3 lines were 12¢ higher on 186¢/kg.

Heavy weight C3 grown steers to slaughter eased 1¢ to 197¢, while bullocks to slaughter decreased 1¢ to 199¢/kg. Heavy weight C3 grown heifers to slaughter improved 3¢ to 182¢, while heavy weight D2 dairy manufacturing steers slipped 3¢ to average 177¢/kg. Medium weight D1 dairy cows eased 1¢ to 135¢, while heavy weight D2 dairy cows were 2¢ cheaper on 152¢/kg. Heavy weight D3 and D4 cows to slaughter were firm to cheaper on 141¢ to 182¢/kg.


Supply higher

The improvement in prices increased supply by 21 per cent week-on-week at physical markets covered by MLA’s NLRS. Buyers were able to absorb the increased numbers, plus lift prices further. There was a wide variation in the quality of the young cattle, while the overall standard of the heavy grown steers and bullocks was generally good, and cows dominated the grown cattle section. Export and feedlot buyer attendance was generally good, along with an increased number of restocker buyers.

Feeder demand stronger

The vast majority of the young lightweight cattle returned to the paddock 5¢ to 15¢/kg dearer, with drought affected calves at Dalby averaging 204¢ and one large consignment reaching 246.2¢/kg. Vealer heifers to local and southern processors averaged 10¢ dearer at 191¢, with some to local butchers reaching 213.2¢/kg.

A large selection of lightweight yearling steers returned to the paddock at close to 203¢, with some to 227.2¢/kg. Feeder buyer competition continued to increase, with medium weight yearling steers to feed averaging in the high 190¢ range, with some to 220.2¢/kg.

The largest number of heavy weights to feed averaged 4¢ to 5¢ dearer at close to 203¢, with some to 215.2¢/kg. Medium weight plain condition yearling heifers to feed averaged 175¢, while the better lines made to 208.2¢ to average 189¢/kg. Heavyweights to feed mostly sold from 175¢ to 186¢, while some to the local trade market reached 203.2¢/kg.

Cow prices jump

Export processors displayed keen interest to purchase the good quality line-up of heavy grown steers and bullocks and lifted average prices by 2¢ to 5¢/kg. Heavy grown steers averaged 205¢, while a fair selection of bullocks sold to a top of 218.2¢, with most close to 210¢/kg.

This trend also flowed onto the cow section, with improvements of 5¢/kg. Medium weight 2 scores averaged 139¢ and made to 159.2¢/kg. A large sample of good heavy cows averaged 190¢ and made to a record level of 204.2¢/kg. Heavy bulls experienced a dearer trend to average 6¢ better, at 197¢, with sales to 225.2¢/kg.

Western Australia

Numbers close to firm

Numbers were up by just 50 head this week, for a total of 2,644 head across both centres. The quality at both centres was fairly good, with a good selection of trade weight cattle, grown steers and heifers. There were fair number of cows at both centres and there were good numbers of pastoral bulls penned at Muchea.

Young cattle prices lift

The market for the properly finished trade cattle at both centres was very strong, with yearling steers and heifers selling 20¢ to 24¢/kg dearer. Prime conditioned steer yearlings to slaughter sold from 210¢ to 270¢, while the prime heifer yearlings sold from 200¢ to 250¢/kg.

Grown steers finished the week on a firm note, while the lighter weight grown heifers were a little cheaper and the heavier weights were a little dearer. Prime conditioned grown steers sold from 199¢ to 244¢, while the heifer portion sold from 191¢ to 224¢/kg. The light and medium weight cows also finished the week on a firm note, while the heavy weight cows finished 5¢ to 8¢/kg dearer. The 3 and 4 score heavy weight cows sold from 150¢ to 198¢/kg. Bulls to the processors finished 10¢ dearer, with the better muscled types selling from 129¢ to 212¢/kg. Young bulls to the live exporters finished 5¢ to 10¢ dearer, selling from 173¢ to 238¢, with most averaging around 191¢/kg.

New South Wales

Supply jumps

NSW weekly cattle supply, as reported by MLA’s National Livestock Reporting Service, lifted 18 per cent week-on-week, to total 30,368 head. Armidale and Casino recorded significant rises in supply, to 515 head and 1,700 head, respectively.

CTLX throughput was 15 per cent higher on 3,470 head, while yardings at Forbes were similar. Consignments at Gunnedah and Inverell gained 33 per cent and 40 per cent, to 2,520 head and 1,788 head, respectively. Supply at Scone was 14 per cent higher on 1,100 head, while throughput at Wagga lifted 16 per cent to 5,910. Yardings at Tamworth, Goulburn and Singleton were relatively unchanged for the week. Dubbo supplied just over 8, 000 head.

Stronger demand

Demand continued to strengthen this week, especially for grown steers and cows. Quality generally improved across the majority of markets, and Tamworth saw the first run of around 150 head of MSA accredited stock. Lot feeder competition at Wagga was strong across the yearling categories. More light weight yearlings and vealers were yarded at Gunnedah, unusual for this time of year.

Prices mostly increase

Medium weight C2 vealer steers to restockers were 6¢ higher on 210¢, while medium weight vealer heifers to slaughter gained 8¢ to 194¢/kg. Light weight C2 yearling steers to restockers lifted 3¢ to 208¢, while medium weight C2s to feed were firm on 198¢/kg.

Heavier weights to feed eased 4¢ to average 198¢/kg. Light weight C2 yearling heifers to restockers edged 13¢ higher on 182¢, while those to feed slipped 2¢ to 178¢/kg. Medium weight yearling heifers to slaughter gained 3¢ to 183¢, while heavier weights decreased to average 184¢/kg.

Heavy weight C3 grown steers to slaughter lifted 5¢ to 200¢, while bullocks to slaughter were firm on 199¢/kg. Heavy weight grown heifers were 1¢ dearer on 185¢/kg. Medium weight D3 cows to slaughter were 5¢ higher on 160¢, while heavy weight D3 and D4 lines to slaughter were up 4¢ to average from 140¢ to 199¢/kg.

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