Western Australia Weekly Cattle Summary

AUSTRALIA - The annual turn off of cattle from the Ag districts continued this week with the Mt Barker sales having their largest sale of the year thus far, which exceeded 2500 head
calendar icon 16 December 2006
clock icon 2 minute read
The dry conditions endured this year continue to see cattle sold at least a month earlier in areas such as the southwest and Great Southern. Pasture volumes continue to diminish with little or no rainfall recorded in these districts, where hay and grain prices remain very high and volumes tight. The high prices of grains such as lupins, barley and oats has seen some buyer resistance with many preferring to hold of purchasing in the hope that values will ease after the New Year. There has been some good news for feeders with some forward contractual rates having been negotiated at higher rates, due to a resistance from feeders to feed cattle after February throughout autumn and into winter. Slaughter space remains tight in southern WA and this continues to keep pressure on the cattle market with supplies well above the numbers currently being killed. Trade competition remained in line with recent week’s quotes throughout the classes. Feeder demand eased with the weight of numbers seen in recent weeks obviously having finally had an effect on the market. Grazier demand remained limited and very selective. A lack of live export demand continued this week with many forward contracted lightweight bulls that were expected to be gone between September and November still remaining in paddocks with a lack of boats and one companies loss of an export licence a problem.

Vealer rates ease

The numbers of heavy weight vealers remained limited this week with the majority of calves sold having been of medium and lightweight and reflective of this year’s seasonal conditions. Local trade competition remained restricted to heavier vealers with no change realised in the market. Feeder competition fluctuated throughout the week. There was a softening trend recorded as the week progressed with the Great Southern sale generally lower by 6¢ to 10¢/kg lwt for both heifers and steers with some grades back even further. The early turnoff by many producers this year has seen several “special sales” in the southwest having been cancelled. Trade weight yearling supplies remained reasonable this week. Trade competition was stable and the market maintained it position. The numbers of heavy weight steers and heifers continued to be limited with a lack of trade competition continuing to be a deterring factor in producers forwarding numbers. Heavy weight steer sales improved marginally with little or no movement evident in heifer rates. The cow market rose marginally due to an increased grazier activity, which was seen primarily at Midland early in the week. A lack of trade competition continued to hamper the heavy weight bull market with rates unchanged.

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