Larger Yardings, Cattle Mixed Prices

AUSTRALIA - National cattle yardings increased 8% this week, but remained 10% below the same period last year. The trade steer indicator eased 8¢, to 169¢/kg lwt, as the quality of young cattle offered continues to decline. In contrast, the feeder steer indicator improved 3¢ to 166¢/kg lwt, as lotfeeders looked to secure supplies heading into winter. As cow supplies tighted, the US cow indicator surged 3¢.
calendar icon 2 June 2008
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Meat & Livestock Australia

Cow prices strengthen

Cow prices strengthened again, despite the stronger A$, as steady demand and tighter supplies continue to underpin prices. The increasing trend started in October last year.

The national D3 medium weight average cow price lifted 3¢ this week, to 125¢/kg lwt. After slipping back from 124¢ to 121¢ in early April, prices had been steady through to mid-May, before decreasing to average 118¢/kg lwt. During this period, the number of head purchased by processors at MLA’s NLRS reported saleyards also remained stable, between 1,500 and 2,000 head weekly.

From mid-May, the average cow price began to increase, as the number of head offered declined. In the past two weeks, the national average cow price gained 7¢/kg lwt. Over this period, the number of head purchased by processors also declined, dropping from around 2,000 head, to just below 1,250 head.

The D4 medium weight average cow price has followed a similar trend to the D3s, with the average national price increasing since mid-April. The average price increased 11¢ in May, to finish Thursday’s sales at 130¢/kg lwt. The number of head sold in this category remained stable throughout this period.

May yardings fall, prices mixed

National cattle yardings during May at MLA’s NLRS reported saleyards declined 8% for young cattle and 14% for grown cattle, compared with the previous month.

Offerings in the vealer heifer and vealer steer component of the market declined 12% and 17%, respectively, from April, with yearling heifer numbers also tightening, back 8%. Yearling steer numbers remained firm. In the grown cattle section, steers numbers fell 24% and heifers 16%, while the numbers of cows offered slipped 8%.

Grown cattle yardings during May fell 17% year-on-year, while young cattle offerings remained steady. The largest year-on-year decrease was calves, which fell 59%, while the supply of grown heifers tightened 24% and cows 21%.

While cattle numbers declined during May, average prices were mixed. Restockers in May were more active than processors on vealer steers, with the average price paid by processors in May decreasing 4¢, to 175¢, while restocker prices declined 8¢, to 175¢/kg lwt. Vealer heifers to slaughter fell 9¢, to average 160¢/kg lwt for the month. Yearling steers recorded mixed prices during May, with prices for steers to slaughter and restockers both lifting 1¢, to 167¢ and 165¢, respectively. Prices to lotfeeders eased 2¢, to 164¢/kg lwt. Yearling heifer slaughter prices remained firm at 152¢, while prices declined 1¢ and 3¢ to feeders and restockers, respectively, to 150¢ and 139¢/kg lwt.

In the grown cattle market, steers experienced an overall reduction in prices, slipping 2¢ lower to lotfeeders, averaging 156¢, while lifting 1¢ for slaughter at 159¢/kg lwt. Grown heifer to slaughter, however, eased 3¢, to 138¢/kg lwt. Cows remained firm during May, averaging 122¢/kg lwt.

TheCattleSite News Desk

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