TheBeefSite.com - news, features, articles and disease information for the beef industry

News

Weekly Australian Cattle Summary

16 October 2009
Meat & Livestock Australia

AUSTRALIA - This report is a collection of weekly cattle price summaries from each Australian state by the Meat & Livestock Australia.

Victoria weekly cattle summary

Quality better

Quality improved this week which encouraged some grades of cattle to dearer levels, however, on average prices slipped across the board as all major indicators eased week on week. Feeder steers were the exception as prices, averaged unchanged. Despite good falls of rain in the west and south Gippsland during the week, most markets offered buyers a larger supply. However, with the A$ performing very strongly against all the major world currencies, and poor meat sales, demand was weaker for all cattle, especially early in the week. Cow sales later in the week tended to show firmer trends as export processors seek lean cows for the 90CL US market. While these export processors have either reduced their kill, or they remain working on only a few days, the supply of very lean cows has dwindled slightly. As demand and competition was weaker, the general trend for the week was a fall of 2¢ to 8¢/kg across most classes of cattle. Even a continued small supply of top quality vealers and supplementary fed yearlings could not hold up the top prices.

The EYCI figure fell 4¢ week on week to 309¢/kg cwt. The lean grinding beef market with the US, suffered the most as prices fell. Comparisons year on year show a huge fall from 438¢ FAS, to only 289¢/kg cwt at the end of last weeks trade. Compare to the carcass weight price indicator from MLA’s NLRS markets of 242¢/kg, and producers will most likely suffer further falls as supply increases. Feedlots competed strongly which enable the feeder steer indicator to hold firm at 165.6¢/kg.

Vealer supplies low

The supply of vealers still remains low, and so did the prices. MLA’s NLRS reported physical markets in the state revealed the average for vealers was only 169¢/kg. The top price was 225¢ with very few making over 200¢/kg. The best supplementary fed yearlings made to 226¢/kg. Very poor support for heifers saw a number of better quality trade weights make from 128¢ to 168¢/kg. Yearling steer prices were marginally better ranging from 138¢ to 186¢/kg.

Continued weak demand from Japan for product influenced another downturn in prices. Grown steers and bullocks averaged 7¢ lower at 163¢ with prime C3 and C4 steers making anywhere between 143¢ and 174¢/kg. Secondary or manufacturing bullocks averaged 142¢/kg. Export processors still want cows at cheaper rates, and averages were 2¢ to 4¢/kg lower. Some of the prices were aided by solid competition from wholesalers for better quality, particularly younger cows. Better quality beef cows made from 123¢ to 148¢ while good quality dairy cows ranged from 112¢ to 132¢/kg. The plain 1 score grades sold between 50¢ and 121¢/kg. Bull prices remained low with the best quality A and B muscle bulls making from 135¢ to 162¢/kg.

WA weekly cattle summary

Will the southwest get a spring?

Temperatures in the southwest of WA have begun to rise with levels over the weekend forecast to reach into the mid thirties. This has signalled the end to the growing season with little or no rainfall forecast for the near future. The prediction of the onset of hot weather has some in the southwest traditional cattle growing areas now speculating whether or not these areas will in fact get any sort of a spring at all given the very wet, cold and over cast weather they have experienced and the negative affect that this has had of feed levels. Hay production has begun in many areas and is now in full swing. The market place in WA for beef remains very difficult with the exports hampered by an ever increasing dollar value. Domestically things remain tight also with large volumes of product, both locally produced and imported from the east currently on the market.

Saleyard numbers were similar those seen the previous week with little change recorded. Pastoral cattle continue to dominate numbers in the WA market with Midland continuing to be the largest of the three weekly sales. Locally bred cattle numbers remain low for this time of year and this is reflective of the lat start to this year’s growing season and the tight feed supplies that arose from it. Heavy weight steer, bullocks and heifers were all sold in minimal amounts, while there was an increase in the numbers of grass finished trade weight yearlings this week with cow supplies one again being very reasonable.

Export grades fall

Vealer numbers were quit substantial this week with very solid supplies of lightweight calves being forwarded into Midland’s sale. These recent solid supplies have had a negative affect on restocker demand and softer market conditions have been recorded as a consequence. Other vealer numbers were slightly larger also with some producers now opting to sell off their calves early and thus saving feed and protecting their cows and thus there were more supplies of medium and lightweight drafts sold. These recorded a reasonable restocker and feeder demand and little or no change was realised in either steer or heifer rates. The large supplies of grass finished trade weight yearlings were of an improved quality this week. Trade demand for steer drafts was maintained with equal rates paid, while the improved quality of trade heifers saw an increase in trade activity and dearer rates.

The store market was more erratic this week due to a more selective feeder inquiry but over all rates remained similar to the previous week with a reasonable restocker interest also realised. The heavy weight export market was negatively impacted by the rising Australian dollar with heavy weight steers, heifers’ cows and bulls all recording lower rates.

NSW weekly cattle summary

Full trading week lifts supply

Cattle supply across MLA’s NLRS reported saleyards increased 60% this week due to the public holiday on the previous Monday. With the return of the normal trading week the majority of markets recorded higher numbers. Supply at Dubbo increased 35 per cent with the return of the normal Monday sale, while numbers at Wagga were substantially higher due to the cancellation of the previous Monday sale. The continued lack of rain in some areas of the state has also increased supply, with producers forced to offload cattle due to the deteriorating season.

With the return of Monday’s markets, all categories yarded significantly higher numbers, with young cattle making up a large per centage of the yarding. Yearling steers and heifers were well supplied, while there were limited numbers of vealers offered. Grown cattle were also well represented along with a substantial increase in the number of cows yarded.

The quality of the young cattle was mixed with some good runs of crop finished and supplementary fed yearlings along with an excellent supply of prime grass finished trade cattle offered at Wagga. However there was increased numbers of plain yearling heifers and steers offered throughout the sales.

The usual buyers were present in a firm to slightly cheaper market with feeders and restockers more subdued this week. Good quality younger cattle met the strongest competition while grown steers and cows met reduced demand. The majority of processors and feeders maintained last weeks cheaper rates, while others pulled rates back as the high A$ continues to suppress export demand along with supply continuing to come forward.

Prices continue to slip

Medium weight C2 vealer steers to slaughter average 2¢ cheaper at 178¢ while those returning to the paddock held firm at 177¢ with sales to 187¢/kg. Medium weight C2 vealer heifers purchased by processors generally made 170¢ while those to restockers sold to a top of 155¢/kg. Lightweight yearling steers to restockers sold from 140¢ to 185¢ while the medium weights to feed averaged 165¢ with sales to 178¢/kg. The heavyweight 3 scores to slaughter slipped 5¢ in value to average 166¢ with sales to 192¢/kg. Medium weight yearling heifers made 135¢ to 166¢ to average 2¢/kg cheaper. The 3 scores to slaughter mostly sold around 160¢ while the heavyweights sold to a top of 197¢/kg.

Medium weight C3 grown steers purchased by processors made 135¢ to 165¢ while the heavyweights averaged 159¢ with sales to 170¢/kg. The 4 score bullocks to similar orders mostly sold around 163¢ to top at 169¢/kg. A large run of C3 medium weight grown heifers generally made 144¢ with the occasional sale to 158¢/kg. Medium weight D2 cows slipped 4¢ in value to 107¢ while the 3 scores held firm at 117¢ with sales to 127¢/kg. The heavyweight 4 score cows sold from 115¢ to 139¢ to average 126¢/kg.

Queensland weekly cattle summary

Rain front turns to dust

The dry weather continues as the last weather front to move across the state turned into another dust storm. Despite the relatively low prices the deteriorating season resulted in numbers at physical markets covered by MLAs NLRS increasing by 11 per cent. A good mix of young cattle were penned with both slaughter and feeder grades well represented. The overall quality of the young cattle continues to be mixed nevertheless some large consignments of supplementary fed lines helped lift the standard of yearling steers and heifers. The lift in supply of grown steers also contained a larger number of good heavy bullocks with some supplementary fed classes also included in the line-up. Regardless of the overall supply of stock available at saleyards increasing, the supply of cows continues to fall with smaller numbers of good heavy cows being penned. Buyer representation at most markets continues to be good, nevertheless values for a number of categories generally battled to remain firm.

The strong support displayed by southern processors for vealer heifers saw average prices at Dalby improve however across all markets for the week prices experienced little change. Yearling grades at early week markets tended to lose ground in value nevertheless by midweek values tended to firm following the falls at the same time the previous week. Steers and bullocks followed a similar trend and a lift in the overall quality by midweek saw buyers appreciate the better quality and average prices improved by a small amount of 1¢ to 2¢/kg. Cows developed a similar movement in price and as the week progressed values tended to firm for some categories.

Overall values remained firm

A small number of calves to the trade averaged 176¢ and an equally small number sold to restockers at a top of 206¢ with most around 170¢/kg. A good sample of vealer heifers experienced very little change at 163¢, with a few heavy B muscle classes to butchers reaching 198.2¢/kg. Lightweight yearling steers to feeders averaged 172¢ with sales to 185¢ and restocker lines 181¢ with some to 198.2¢/kg. Medium weight slaughter lines averaged 157¢ and feeder classes close to 164¢, with sales for both categories making into the 170¢/kg range. Lightweight yearling heifers to feed averaged 160¢ and D muscle grades made 133¢/kg. Medium weight categories yearling heifers to the trade averaged 152¢ with sales to 178.2¢/kg.

Medium weight grown steers to feed remained close to the previous week's level at 164¢ with sales to 174.2¢/kg. Heavy steers to export slaughter mostly sold around 161¢, and the bullock portion across all markets remain firm at 161¢/kg. A fair sample of cows sold to restocker's at 100¢ with some to 114.2¢/kg. Medium weight 2 scores to processors experienced no change at 111¢/kg. The 3 scores also received no change in value at 120¢/kg. Good heavy cows averaged close to 129¢ with the very occasional sale to 142.6¢/kg.

TheCattleSite News Desk



Partners


Seasonal Picks

Managing Pig Health: A Reference for the Farm - 2nd Edition