Less Young Cattle in a Mixed 2007

AUSTRALIA - The supply of young cattle during 2007 at MLA’s NLRS reported saleyards was six per cent lower than 2006.
calendar icon 24 December 2007
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According to analysts at Meat and Livestock Australia, the largest percentage decline was registered in the vealer steer category. The supply of yearling steers followed the overall young cattle trend to be six per cent below 2006.

Young cattle made up 53 per cent of the total reported yarding, which was below the 55 per cent recorded in 2006.

The percentage of yearling steers purchased by lotfeeders and restockers was 43 per cent and 22 per cent, respectively – slightly down from the 44 per cent and 23 per cent purchased in 2006.

This was largely influenced by the continuation of harsh back to back seasons, and the increased operating expenses within the feedlot industry, as grain prices reached historical highs.

TMLA said that the price peak was reached during winter, as the average weekly national indicator for yearling steers reached 190¢/kg. Feeder steers followed a similar trend, with the indicator during the winter months reaching 179¢/kg.

The lowest prices for yearling steers occurred during October and November when trade and feeder weekly indicators were 159¢ and 152¢/kg, respectively.

The benchmark Eastern Young Cattle Indicator (EYCI) averaged 317.64¢/kg cwt for 2007, 7 per cent lower than the 2006 average of 341.35¢/kg cwt. The EYCI reached its high point of 347.50¢/kg cwt in mid-March and its low point of 272.50¢/kg cwt during October.

Since October’s low, the EYCI has climbed slowly, to close the year at 311.50¢/kg cwt. The recent increased competition for young cattle has been due to improvements in pasture and summer cropping outlooks, resulting in increased feeder and restocker activity, according to MLA.

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