Cattle Market Wrap: Cattle Supply Limited

AUSTRALIA - Cattle supply across the eastern states was again limited this past week due to widespread rainfall and flooding in areas of Victoria, with national throughput at MLA’s NLRS reported markets falling 32 per cent.
calendar icon 13 September 2010
clock icon 3 minute read
Meat & Livestock Australia

Numbers were back 55 per cent in Queensland, 27 per cent in NSW, 19 per cent in Victoria and 5 per cent in WA, while SA increased 8 per cent.

Markets in the eastern states generally recorded lower throughput, with Goulburn, Naracoorte, Mareeba and Bairnsdale the only exceptions. Muchea in WA also saw more cattle offered, and these were mostly from the pastoral regions. No sales were held at either Longreach or Murgon, with sufficient cattle unable to be transported to the yards.

The supply of all categories was affected by the weather, although quality reportedly improved at some markets with more supplementary fed stock entering the saleyards. Vealer steer numbers were back 29 per cent, /with restockers accounting for 34 per cent of purchases and processors 60 per cent. Vealer heifer numbers were down 32 per cent, with trade buyers accounting for the majority. Yearling steer offerings fell 33 per cent, with 35 per cent returning to the paddock, 25 per cent to feeders and 38 per cent to slaughter. The number of yearling heifers penned fell 16 per cent, as trade buyers secured 60 per cent, while 25 per cent went to feeders.

Grown cattle numbers were also limited, with 41 per cent fewer steers yarded and cow offerings falling 28 per cent. Given the weather, supply may remain tight for the next few weeks, particularly in Victoria. Producers may also opt to properly finish cattle, given the condition that some may have lost in the wet.

Cow prices strong

Cow prices received a boost this week, underpinned by limited supplies across most physical markets, with the transport of some consigned cows to processors interrupted by wet weather. The eastern states US cow indicator settled 2¢/kg higher on the previous week after Thursdays markets, at 142.8¢/kg lwt.

With the high A$ continuing to impact returns from export markets, competition was primarily driven by the lack of numbers. Medium weight D2 cow prices were firm nationally, as D3’s picked up 3¢ to average 140¢/kg lwt. Heavyweight prices also improved, with D2 grades 6¢ higher, D3 and D4’s improved 3¢ and 4¢/kg lwt, respectively.

Rain boosts young cattle prices

The Eastern Young Cattle Indicator (EYCI) reached its highest level since August 2006 this week, hitting 370¢/kg cwt on Wednesday, with the increase largely due to reduced supplies following last week’s widespread rain.

Saleyard numbers continue to be impacted by the better season and ongoing wet weather, fuelling demand from restockers for lightweight, unfinished cattle. Eastern states yearling heifers returning to the paddock averaged 5¢ dearer this week, at 164¢/kg lwt, while feeder buyers paid an average 6¢ more, with processors increasing prices 7¢/kg lwt.

Yearling steers did not experience the same improvement in average prices, mostly selling firm to slightly dearer. Feeders paid around 185¢, while restockers averaged 180¢ and processors 184¢/kg lwt. Following Thursday’s markets, the EYCI finished 5.25¢ higher than last week, at 368.50¢/kg cwt. The trade steer indicator settled 1¢ higher at 197¢, while feeder steers eased 3¢, to average 192¢/kg lwt.

TheCattleSite News Desk

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