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

News

Weekly Australian Cattle Summary

09 July 2010
Meat & Livestock Australia

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

South Australia weekly cattle summary

Numbers retreat

In what was possibly a producer backlash to the current lower prices, there were smaller yardings. The SA LE only had 370 head (or 259 less), with Naracoorte's 770 being 432 head fewer. However, Mt. Gambier's numbers increased by 310 head to 922 despite, the South East receiving some excellent heavy rain late last week. The SA LE's quality was mixed and contained mainly young cattle that sold to the usual trade and processor buyers, with feeder and restocker buyers very active as a shortage of suitable cattle to feed becomes apparent. Those orders also provided processors with strong competition on the small cow yarding that assisted prices to dearer levels. Naracoorte's sale featured some prime quality pens of supplementary fed yearlings that tended to trigger a dearer trend from the usual SA, Victorian and NSW trade and processor buyers, albeit with a Naracoorte processor a little more selective due to their last kill being on Thursday before closing down for maintenance and recommencing on August 2nd. Feeders and restockers were out in force with their numbers boosted by a couple of additional orders that at times left the trade in their wake. Cow prices also rebounded with a couple of sales back over the 150¢/kg mark again.

Mt. Gambier's yarding while being quite mixed did feature prime yearling heifers that sold to trade and feeder activity. There were also good quality grown steers and many prime heavy cows that met with Victorian and NSW competition at generally dearer levels, this despite the Naracoorte order being an onlooker.

Dearer trend

With smaller yardings, there were generally dearer trends for most categories as buyers struggled to source supplies. The trade and local butchers purchased limited numbers of vealer steers from 190¢ to 205¢, with C3 sales 15¢/kg dearer. Feeder and restocker orders paid from 170¢ to 200¢ at rates mainly 6¢/kg cheaper. Vealer heifers to the trade sold from 160¢ to 201¢ to be mainly unchanged to 8¢/kg dearer. Feeders sourced C and D muscled heifers from 152¢ to 184¢/kg. Yearling C3 steers sold mainly between 172¢ and 195¢ to be 3¢ to 5¢/kg dearer. Feeder and restocker orders paid 164¢ to 197¢/kg at dearer levels. Yearling C3 heifers sold from 160¢ to 184¢ to the trade and 189.5¢ to a feeder orders at prices around 12¢/kg dearer.

Grown steers in mainly C3 condition sold mostly from 174¢ to 185¢ to be 1¢ to 5¢/kg dearer, and averaged 330¢/kg cwt state wide. Grown heifers were also keenly sourced and sold from 135¢ to 165¢ or 3¢ to 6¢/kg dearer. Cow prices were erratic, with some up to 11¢ cheaper, and others 4¢ to 6¢/kg dearer, as most beef and dairy cows sold in a 260¢ to 300¢/kg cwt.

Victoria weekly cattle summary

Competition lifts prices

Victorian cattle prices were resilient throughout the week showing trends that averaged unchanged to 3c/kg dearer. This was seen across a broad range of weights and ages. While some markets reported by MLA's NLRS quoted poorer prices due to plainer quality, reasonable to good quality sold to stronger demand, and better competition. The hiatus in prices that occurred the previous week, due to a number of cattle coming down to Victorian processors from the north, appeared to have faded with more competition seen at most sales. Feedlots looking to keep supply on the boil over the later winter months are competing head to head with processors for a larger percentage of young cattle. This is seeing some better quality cattle purchased to grain feed, and assisting in the higher prices. Overall the supply of cattle into NLRS reported markets was slightly higher, there was a lower, or larger number recorded over several sales. The quality of young cattle sold was very mixed, although there was a reasonable supply of supplementary fed steers and heifers that bolstered quality. Fewer grown steers were offered, which is usual at this time of year, and the supply of cows was lower after cheaper rates the previous week. This aided better competition, despite a fluctuating market trend for the A$ against world currencies. Store cattle sales still dominate price trends as well with the very strong prices paid at all sales putting more pressure on physical sales. With dressing percentages falling due to the harsher winter conditions, processors are trying to adjust prices paid, but not very successfully.

Gippsland markets strong

The best vealer prices still peaked at 234c with Gippsland markets achieving between 196c and 228c/kg for most of the top quality vealers. However, even these vealers were slightly under the previous week's quality. Strong demand for C muscle vealers from the trade, feedlots and restockers saw most of these make between 170c and 200c/kg. Grain fattened cattle sold well with steers and heifers, weighing up to 460kgs lwt making between 185c and 222c/kg.

A feature line of 108 yearling steers, that had been on grain for 180 days, and weighed an average of 620kgs lwt made form 186c to 189c/kg at Pakenham at the Monday sale. Plainer condition young cattle made mostly from 150c to 180c/kg. Bullock prices generally remained unchanged with prime C muscle bullocks making from 170c to 186c with lighter weights to 192c/kg. With demand being stronger for cows, and some very good quality drafts penned, particularly at Bairnsdale, prices were between 145c and 164c/kg. Most 2 score cows lines made from 128c to 154c, with plainer condition 1 scores between 90c and 135c/kg. The carcass weight price average was estimated to be 288c/kg cwt.

Western Australia weekly cattle summary

Cold dry broken by late rainfall

Weather patterns in the southwest of WA remained below average as conditions remained unseasonally cold with more severe frosting recorded. The past fortnight of very cold temperatures and associated frosts have impacted severely on both feed and crop growth. There was good rainfall however recorded at the end of the week with solid falls expected throughout much of the southern land mass including eastern areas with forecasts predicting further moisture across the weekend. Conditions in the far north improved also with heavy, un-seasonal rainfall recorded in the Kimberley and Pilbara. Very dry conditions continue to plague pastoral areas in the Murchison, Gascoyne and eastern areas as far south as the Goldfields, where a lack of wind has also hampered watering points. The live weight restriction into Indonesia remains and pastoralists and live exporters alike continue to come to terms with what this means. Subsequently, this season has seen an increase in the numbers of "out of spec" cattle forwarded to works in the south of the state. The largest export works in WA remains closed for annual work ad will reopen in a couple of week's time.

Cattle numbers were larger this week with Muchea remaining the largest yarding to be sold due to solid supplies of pastoral cattle. The Great Southern yarding was also larger due to an increase in young store grades of cattle. Prime slaughter quality cattle remained in tight supply irrespective of the area they were sourced from with the vast majority of pastoral drafts in plain condition and indicative of the drought conditions.

Stores see rates rebound

The drought conditions in much of the pastoral regions continues to see solid numbers of plain conditions drafts forwarded to the south of WA. Demand has waned in recent times given the below average water levels seen in the south. Agents however expect that numbers will continue to run and are hopeful that rainfall late this week will improve demand.

The numbers of vealers in saleyards remained almost non-existent outside of lightweights. Quality in these remained mixed with prime drafts receiving a firm local retailer and processor demand, with restocker demand also fair on planer conditioned lots. Grain finished yearling supplies in saleyards were fair with the majority again penned at the Muchea market. Little or no change was recorded in values with both feeder and trade demand continuing at similar levels. The good supplies of local bred stores from the agricultural areas remained predominately of medium and lightweight. Feeder demand rebounded this week with medium and heavier classes of both heifers and steers lifting in value. Lightweight steer drafts also saw a slightly improvement in value to restockers, while heifer classes receded slightly. The cow market recorded lower rates this week due to a constriction in processor competition.

New South Wales weekly cattle summary

More grown steers available

Supply improved 5% compared to last week at MLA's NLRS reported markets. Throughputs varied with Armidale, Dubbo, Forbes, Gunnedah and Inverell all recording lower throughputs while the remainder had more cattle penned. Forbes was reduced due to some light rain over the weekend which did enough to prevent some producers bringing their stock forward. Similarly at Inverell rain around the North has boosted oat crops helping to carry cattle through the winter. There was a significant increase in the offering at Casino with most of the increase coming in the light and medium weight vealer sections. The Hunter markets of Scone and Singleton also grew with most categories experiencing a lift in supply.

Overall vealer steers as a percentage of total yardings was reduced as they made up 10 per cent of the states offering. The proportion of yearling steers was also down - back to 15 per cent from 18 per cent last week. On the other hand grown cattle supplies improved with cows making up 19.4 per cent and grown steers 10 per cent. The increase in grown steers was mostly at CTLX where supplies nearly doubled. The highlight of the grown steer penning at CTLX was a run of B2's that achieved a price of 199.6¢ for the whole grown steers averaged 179¢/kg lwt for the sale.

The usual buyers operated across most markets. Vealer steers mostly returned to the paddock at rates 3¢ to 4¢/kg dearer. Restocker purchases of medium weight yearling steers were around 6¢/kg cheaper while heavyweights to the trade held firm. Grown steers ranged from 2¢ cheaper to 7¢ dearer while cows mostly sold firm to 3¢/kg better.

Prices maintained

Well bred vealer steers remain in demand from restockers and this was reflected in higher prices. Light and medium weight C2's made between 3¢ and 5¢ more than last week averaging 210¢ and 202¢/kg respectively. The few medium weight C2's to the trade slipped by 12¢ with quality being a factor, they sold to 201¢ and averaged 187¢/kg. Lightweight vealer heifers were 15¢ cheaper averaging 185¢ as medium C2's made 181¢ and heavier C3's sold around 187¢/kg. Medium vealers to restockers were also cheaper averaging 179¢/kg. Light yearling steers returning to the paddock held firm at 196¢, lotfeeders paid the same money which was 2¢/kg dearer than last week. Heavyweights to feed and slaughter mostly sold at similar rates to last week in the mid 180¢/kg range. Lightweight heifers to all buyers were firm to 1¢ cheaper averaging from 170¢ to 176¢ with the best C3's to the trade topping at 200¢/kg. Medium and heavyweights to slaughter averaged 2¢ dearer, making 178¢ to 180¢/kg.

Medium grown steers to feed made 3¢ more at 175¢ while heavyweight C3 lots slipped 2¢ to average 178¢/kg. Cows sold firm to slightly better, medium D3's averaged 130¢, heavyweights averaged 140¢ and heavy D4's sold around 147¢/kg.

Queensland weekly cattle summary

A lift in overall supply

Light falls of rain in some of the supply areas reduced numbers in southern markets. However, numbers at Longreach lifted to a higher-level and there was a massive lift in supply by 60 per cent at the Roma store sale, as numbers rose due to several large single vendor consignments from central and south-west Queensland boosting supply. Nevertheless as the week progressed numbers declined due to rainfall of around 10mm preventing the movement of some cattle. Overall quality in the south remains mixed with the seasonal conditions being experienced in some districts reflected in the overall standard. This was noticeable at Morton where calves sold at open auction made up 20 per cent of the total numbers yarded. Buyer attendance at most markets was generally good with local and southern restocker buyers very active, while the usual panel of export processors was present in places, yet not all were successful in making purchases.

Despite the large samples of lightweight plain condition grades available strong restocker support maintained a firm trend, while butchers and wholesalers at Warwick had to lift the buying rates on the small selection of suitable vealers and yearlings. Heavy steers and bullocks to export slaughter at the commencement of the week sold to a firm however as the week progressed the light falls of rain hampered supply and by closing week markets average prices improve by up to 6¢/kg. Cows also followed a similar trend and improved in and at Roma a large consignment of good quality cows helped boost average prices by up to 11¢/kg.

Export grades dearer

Calves to the trade averaged 171¢ and a large number returned to the paddock at 192¢ with sales to 229.2¢/kg. Vealer steers also generally returned to the paddock at an average of 195¢ with a few pens to 210¢/kg. A large sample of vealer heifers sold to the trade at an average of 172¢ while a couple B muscle lines made to 223.2¢/kg. A very large portion of lightweight yearling steers sold to restocker's at 210¢ with a few pens reaching 228.2¢/kg. Medium weight yearling steers to feed averaged 188¢ and sold to 205.2¢ and heavyweights mainly sold around 180¢ with some to 190¢/kg. A good sample of lightweight yearling heifers returned to the paddock at 184¢, while D muscle lines to the trade mostly sold around 153¢/kg.

Medium weight grown steers to feed averaged close to 170¢ with some to 187.2¢/kg. Heavy steers to export slaughter across all markets for the week averaged 4¢ better at 177¢/kg. Bullocks also improved a similar amount to average close to 177¢ with a few sales to 182.6¢/kg. Medium weight 3 score cows averaged 126¢/kg. Good heavy cows across all markets improved 3¢ to average 145¢ the occasional pen reaching 158.2¢/kg.

TheCattleSite News Desk



Partners


Seasonal Picks

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