Weekly Australian Cattle Summary

AUSTRALIA - Weather conditions are influencing sale numbers across Australia according to the report of weekly cattle price summaries from each Australian state by the Meat & Livestock Australia.
calendar icon 10 December 2010
clock icon 11 minute read
Meat & Livestock Australia

WA weekly cattle summary

Numbers remain high

Milder weather conditions have been recorded in the southern Agricultural districts with some limited rainfall recorded in the majority of areas. On the other hand southern coastal districts have realised reasonable falls of up to 30mm over the past seven days. The majority of feed levels in pasture paddocks continue to diminish with water levels in dam storages also a continued problem to stocking levels.

Conditions in much of the northern pastoral regions remain desperate and large numbers continue to head south to Muchea's saleyards. The poor seasonal conditions in the agricultural regions also have caused a high turnoff of vealers and surplus stock continues with seasonal cattle numbers offered throughout the spring remaining well above annual average levels.

Live export activity on vealers and yearling steers has been maintained at solid levels and this has added extra competition into physical markets with reasonable numbers leaving the sector. Demand from eastern states restocker and feeder has also been maintained with good volumes leaving both saleyards and direct from properties.

Physical market supplies were larger with all centres having very good numbers penned. Muchea and Mt Barker remained the largest sales with the first of this year's special female sales taking place at the end of this week. Despite the very large turnoff of local grades, there continued to be very large supplies of pastoral cattle. Subsequently Muchea again has very good supplies of lightweight calves penned. The Great Southern Thursday also had increased vealer supplies with the southwest vealer turnoff also solid.

Vealer demand strengthens

The continued good supplies of calves forwarded into Muchea's appraisal sale again were met by a solid competition with little or no changes to prices. The greater supplies of new season vealers continued to see a seasonally lighter average weight penned, but despite this there was an increase in the overall weight recorded at the Great Southern sale. Condition continues to fall from calves as the tight seasonal conditions take their toll. The addition of a live export order to medium and lightweight vealer steer classes had a positive affect on these grades with dearer prices recorded. Medium and heavy weight heifer sales saw a slight local trade and feeder competition which lifted these rates marginally, while lightweight vealer heifers continued to record stronger demand from local and eastern states restockers and back grounding operators. The volumes of prime yearlings in saleyards continued to be low. Quality of grass finished stock was also mixed with little change realised in competition or prices.

The large cow numbers coupled with weaker eastern states processor demand has caused further weakening in the cow market with most prices lower by 8¢ to 10¢/kg.

SA weekly cattle summary

Good quality yardings

Unseasonal heavy rainfall is still having some affect on numbers, although not having the same effect on cattle producers as it is on cropping enterprises. Mt. Gambier on Monday featured more cows than grown steers, selling to the usual SA, NSW and Victorian buyers. It was a strange sale for the grown steers, with most medium weights selling at unchanged rates, while the heavy steers and bullocks were cheaper. Cow prices also fell back mainly below the 150¢/kg mark. The SALE yarded mixed quality runs of mainly young cattle that sold to erratic competition from the usual trade and processor buyers. Feeder orders were also active on mainly lightweight vealer steers, together with yearling steers and some yearling heifers. The grown steers and grown heifers attracted mainly lower rates, while the small number of cows were generally unchanged. Naracoorte's young cattle sale did feature a small number of cows due to no cow or bull sale until Friday week. The sale sold to strong trade and processor competition from the usual SA and Victorian buyers even though a NSW buyer left empty handed. Feeder and restocker orders were very active. A supermarket order was very active on prime yearling steers and heifers.

Mt. Gambier yarded less in generally good quality runs that sold to strong competition from all quarters at mainly dearer levels, with a lightweight vealer bull topping the sale at 230¢/kg. Millicent agents put together a similar numbered yarding of 760 head that again featured many good quality vealers.

Mainly dearer trend

It was a sale week of mainly dearer prices, albeit with some export categories being cheaper. Vealer steer B muscled sales were from 200¢ to 224¢, with C muscled sales 192¢ to 210¢/kg at basically unchanged rates. Feeder and restocker orders were active between 186¢ and 217¢ at prices unchanged to 8¢/kg dearer. Vealer heifers were keenly sourced as most C3 and C4 sales ranged between 179¢ and 220.5¢ to be slightly dearer. Yearling steer C3 sales were mostly from 175¢ to 205/kg¢ to remain unchanged. Feeders and restockers sourced increased numbers of C2 and C3 medium and heavyweights between 177¢ and 205¢/kg. Yearling heifer C3 and C4 sales were generally from 168¢ to 204¢ at prices 4¢ to 6¢/kg dearer due to the strong supermarket order.

Grown steer C3 to C5 sales were between 162¢ and 190¢, with the medium weights unchanged and the heavyweights 2¢ to 5¢ cheaper, and averaging just below 325¢/kg cwt. The D3 to C6 heavy beef cows sold from 125¢ to 153¢, with some sales dearer and others cheaper, and selling mainly in a 250¢ to 300¢/kg cwt price range. Dairy D1 to D4 sales were from 116¢ to 146¢ at basically unchanged rates.

VIC weekly cattle summary

Numbers climb

Greater numbers of cattle were penned with the long Christmas and New Year break only two weeks away. It is expected that next week will herald the last of a decent cattle supply with all markets still operating. Even with significant rainfall across a good portion of the state numbers increased 11 per cent. Most of the selling centres had improved throughput with Colac and Pakenham grown cattle the only exceptions. The larger penning of cattle offered at MLA's NLRS reported sales, bought with them some plainer quality as producers look to take advantage of the current good prices. This mixed quality produced some lower prices at time, but overall a mostly firm trend was evident across the markets.

The majority of the C muscle vealers and yearlings offered sold to the trade at unchanged to slightly dearer trends. The return of a supermarket to the buying panel was another factor behind young cattle prices being at their current levels, particularly for heifers. Feedlots and restockers are also playing a significant role setting physical market price trends, as they try to purchase supply. This was also evident across the other states and assisted in the EYCI reaching a 5 year high. At the close of Thursday markets the EYCI was 386.50¢, which was 6¢/kg cwt higher week on week.

Eastern states daily indicators for grown cattle were also firm to dearer as competition was strong amongst exporters with supply disrupted in the northern states. The Japan Ox gained 4¢ to 187¢ as Medium Cows remained firm at 144¢/kg.

Strong demand

Restockers paid up to 263¢/kg for light weight vealers. The best quality medium vealers made 236¢ with heavy weights to 223¢/kg. The average price for all steer vealers was 208¢, as the heifers sold around 201¢/kg. The big push by all sectors for yearlings created some excellent sales with a large run of steers making 175¢ to 208¢/kg, while the heifers ranged from 171¢ to 198¢/kg. Some supplementary fed yearlings reached 216¢/kg.

Despite the lift in overall supply, there were fewer grown steers penned. Demand was strong, however, the very good season is producing some very heavy cattle, which suffered some discounting. The prime C3 and C4 bullocks made from 167¢ to 185¢ with the best quality medium weight grown steers reaching 198¢/kg.

Weight was also a feature at cow sales with a large number of quality cows weighing between 600 and 800kg lwt. Unfortunately a number were over conditioned, and these only made from 79¢ to 135¢/kg. The best quality cows made between 144¢ to 170¢ with most others from 105¢ to 145¢/kg. The carcass weight price average over all cows was estimated to be 297¢/kg.

NSW weekly cattle summary

Cattle numbers float higher

Cattle supply across the states MLA's NLRS reported physical markets lifted 14 per cent compared to last week. The jump in numbers was despite significant rain over most regions and severe flooding in parts. Gunnedah, Scone, Singleton and Armidale were the only selling centres to record lower throughput. Remarkably at Wagga on Monday with rising floodwaters in the town and around the supply area a yarding of 3,000 head was offered- a lift of 27 per cent. Similarly at Dubbo which was also affected by flooding, numbers more than doubled for an offering of just under 2,000 head.

After disrupted marketing opportunities for the last few months the extra numbers may be a result of only a few sales left before the holiday break. Yearling steers remain the largest category to be penned as they make up 22 per cent of the total yarding, most of them are showing the signs of the excellent spring as 45 per cent were heavyweights. Yearling heifers were the next biggest category making up 20 per cent of the total yarding. There was a good supply of grown steers and bullocks with most of them also carrying plenty of weight and condition, 35 per cent of them weighed over 600kg lwt. The quality and condition of cows is also exhibiting the benefits of plenty of green feed in the paddocks. Of the cow yarding 55 per cent were heavyweights and the majority were in 4 score condition.

The wet conditions of recent times has caused significant damage to crops and there are also concerns that it may affect the condition of some cattle meaning they may be held back until next year when they are properly finished.

Prices buoyant

Over the hooks rates recorded a dearer trend as processors look to secure numbers heading into Christmas and given the tight supply conditions remaining. Young cattle in the physical market followed a similar trend which helped push the Eastern Young Cattle Indicator (EYCI) to a new high for the year after Thursday's markets it finished on 386.50¢/kg cwt.

Light and medium weight vealer steers to restock averaged between 251¢ and 257¢ as the heifer portion to slaughter mostly made between 244¢ and 255¢/kg. Lightweight yearling steers to restockers averaged 2¢ dearer around 226¢, the medium weights to feed were also dearer around 207¢/kg. The heavyweights to feeders averaged from 196¢ to 203¢ as those to slaughter made 191¢/kg. Medium weight yearling heifers to feed averaged 197¢ as processors paid 192¢/kg for heavyweights.

Medium weight grown steers to feed gained 4¢ to 184¢ as the heavyweights to slaughter averaged steady on 182¢ and the bullocks eased 2¢ to make around 178¢/kg. Medium weight cows were steady mostly making between 135¢ and 145¢/kg. Heavyweight cows were firm to 2¢ cheaper averaging 150¢ with the top D4 reaching 166¢/kg. Most of the heavyweight bulls made around 151¢ after selling to 172¢/kg.

QLD weekly cattle summary

Overall numbers down

Once again rain in the supply area restricted the movement of stock, and despite the return of the Roma prime sale into the selling program numbers at physical markets covered by MLA's NLRS fell 15 per cent. Most selling centres experienced a reduction in supply, however by mid week at Dalby regardless of some rain in the area, producers took the opportunity to yard stock for the second last sale of the year and lifted numbers by 40 per cent.

The limited numbers around the state resulted in strong demand from the usual panel of buyers and a dearer trend developed. Strong support from local and southern processors lifted values on calves, vealers and lightweight yearlings by generally lifted 2¢ to 7¢, and close to 20¢/kg on some small samples. Feeder operators displayed an urgency to keep stock in the feed pens over the Christmas break and values for both yearling steers and heifers lifted over 10¢/kg. Some small samples of medium and heavy weight slaughter grades also followed a dearer trend to average 3¢ to 4¢/kg better.

Values for export slaughter grades of heavy steers and bullocks continued to climb 3¢ to 4¢/kg across the state. However average prices for heavy steers and bullocks at Dalby lifted 6¢/kg and sold over 200¢/kg for the first time since early October 2008. The excellent season across the vast majority of the state was reflected in the quality of the cows penned and the largest numbers were in the 3 and 4 score ranges. Medium weight 3 scores averaged 2¢/kg dearer, while the better grades sold to a market 6¢/kg better.

Values improved

A good sample of calves sold to the slaughter market 7¢ dearer at 239¢ with sales to 250.2¢, while a relatively small sample returned to the paddock at 250¢ the occasional sale to 257.2¢/kg. A good selection of vealer steers improved a similar amount to average 213¢ with some to 242¢/kg. Vealer heifers averaged 2¢ better at 217¢ with B muscle lines to 246.6¢/kg. A large sample of lightweight yearling steers returned to the paddock at 220¢ with the occasional pen to 248.2¢/kg. Lightweight feeders averaged 220¢ and medium weights 204¢ while heavy grades to feed generally sold around 191¢ with sales to 211.2¢/kg. Lightweight yearling heifers to local and southern processors averaged 212¢ and made to 230¢, while feeder and restocker grades averaged 207¢ and 213¢/kg respectively. Medium weight yearling heifers to feed averaged 197¢ with the well bred grades making to 216.2¢/kg.

Medium weight grown steers to feed improved 6¢ to average 187¢ with some to 204.2¢/kg. Heavy steers to export slaughter averaged 4¢ better at just under 190¢ and sold to 202.2¢/kg. Bullocks improved 3¢ to average 191¢ and also sold to 202.2¢/kg. Heavy 3 score cows averaged 147¢, while most of the 4 scores sold around 161¢ with a very occasional sale to 178.2¢/kg.

TheCattleSite News Desk

© 2000 - 2023 - Global Ag Media. All Rights Reserved | No part of this site may be reproduced without permission.