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Australian Cattle Markets See No Improvements

14 October 2009
Meat & Livestock Australia

AUSTRALIA - The supply of cattle to markets is increasing as drought takes its toll, pushing prices down, according to Meat and Livestock Australia.

National supply on the rise

Supply across MLA’s NLRS reported saleyards jumped 62 per cent on last week. This was heavily influenced by a shortage of cattle last week due to the public holiday in both New South Wales (NSW) and South Australia. All other states however yarded significantly more numbers which was driven by the deteriorating season.

Total Queensland supply rose 40 per cent on last week as producers opt to offload as feed becomes short. All markets witnessed the trend with Toowoomba’s yarding rising 57 per cent.

NSW throughput more than doubled on last week due to the public holiday as Mondays markets yarded larger numbers than the previous sales.

As the country begins to dry out in Victoria, producers began offloading more cattle which contributed to a 10 per cent rise in the number of cattle yarded. Camperdown throughput more than doubled while Pakenham realised a 25 per cent increase.

Quality remains mixed

The quality of cattle entering the markets has been mixed with significant numbers of cattle being crop finished or supplementary fed. This however is beginning to reduce in Queensland and northern NSW as several feed crops begin to cut out. Large numbers of cattle are also reflecting the current season in NSW and Queensland with many pens lacking condition.

 

Prices continue to take the fall

The rising supply and greater number of plain unfinished cattle have further dampened an already declining market. Prices have continued to ease across the board with cattle going direct to slaughter or feed at the mercy of a lack of export demand and high AU$. Cattle through the yards have followed suit as the processor and feedlot sector bid cautiously. The lack of rain and poor seasonal outlook has also instigated subdued restocker activity.

 

At the close of Tuesday markets the Eastern Young Cattle Indicator (EYCI) lost 2.5¢ on the previous week to settle at 309.75¢/kg cwt. The trade steer indictor slipped 2¢ – to 172¢ while feeder steers fell 1¢ to close at 166¢/kg. Japan ox dropped 2¢ – to 162¢ and US cow finished 1¢ cheaper at 119¢/kg.

TheCattleSite News Desk



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