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Larger Cattle Supply And Mixed Prices

08 February 2010
Meat & Livestock Australia

AUSTRALIA - Following a shorter week due to the Australia Day holiday last Tuesday, cattle numbers climbed 82 per cent this week.

Analysists at Meat and Livestock Australia said that Tuesday numbers were 20 per cent up on a fortnight ago, with the week off contributing to the larger numbers. Recent rain also played a part in Queensland, as there was also no prime sale held at Roma on Thursday due to wet weather.

Plenty of numbers have begun to emerge out of NSW and Victoria, with many producers getting their cattle in finished or forward store condition. Wodonga had another large weekly total to follow up on a fortnight ago. South east SA has also been receiving some large yardings, although this is anticipated to ease off over the coming weeks. There have been comparatively small numbers at the SA Livestock Exchange in recent weeks.

Mixed price changes were registered across all cattle grades. Vealer steers maintained some strength, with more numbers out of Queensland lifting the national indicator 2¢, to settle at 168¢/kg. Yearling steers to slaughter were also dearer; however, feeder grades in the saleyards came off in price, averaging 173¢ and 170¢/kg, respectively. The Eastern States Young Cattle Indicator (EYCI) fell 3.75¢ on last week, to finish Thursday at 320¢/kg cwt. The EYCI remains above the same time last year.

Export cattle prices in the saleyards were cheaper for Japan ox and dearer for cows; with the national Japan ox indicator back 8¢, to 163¢/kg. The increased supply of heavy steers was met with weaker demand, despite the A$ easing in the past week. The US cow indicator lifted 1¢, to finish the week at 125¢/kg. There have been more well conditioned cows at most centres and the US$ has showed some respite over the past week.

Over the hooks prices were dearer in NSW, Queensland and Victoria, with all other states unchanged on last week. Paddock feeder prices were also dearer, with most quotes between 170¢ and 180¢ for domestic, long and medium feds, and 180¢ to 185¢/kg for long feds.

January cattle slaughter lower

Eastern States cattle slaughter was 14 per cent below last January’s weekly average and five per cent below the five-year average for January.

Slaughter numbers were lower during January across Queensland, NSW and Victoria, with only SA recording higher numbers in the Eastern States. Better seasonal conditions in the north and softer export demand combined as the main factors influencing this trend.

January slaughter in Queensland is usually dictated by the re-opening times of abattoirs, which hinges on seasonal conditions. Queensland numbers were down 17 per cent on last year, but three per cent more than the five-year average, due to very low kill numbers in January 2008.

NSW slaughter figures were six per cent below the five-year average and 13 per cent below last year. In Victoria, cattle slaughter was 15 per cent below the five-year average and 17% lower than last year. SA was the exception, with numbers on par with the five-year average and above last year.

TheCattleSite News Desk


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