Weekly Australian Cattle Summary

AUSTRALIA - Weather conditions are still affecting some of the markets in the states around Australia according to the weekly cattle price summaries from each Australian state by the Meat & Livestock Australia.
calendar icon 11 February 2011
clock icon 11 minute read
Meat & Livestock Australia

WA weekly cattle summary

North enjoys further rain

Conditions in the tropical north continue to improve with further good rain recorded throughout much of the Kimberley region. Pastoral areas to the south also realised reasonable falls which has added to the solid season since the flooding rains of the Christmas period. Reports of feed growth have been encouraging, considering the drought period that these areas saw for several years. Reports of pastoral properties restocking continue with agistment cattle from the south returning to pastoral runs.

Conditions in the south of the state varied greatly as the remnants of cyclone Yasi crossed from the east into WA bringing some rainfall to eastern and south eastern regions, but most western districts failed to gain any moisture benefit. There was some thunderstorm activity in several areas but this was wide spread and sporadic, while strong easterly winds blew for a good part of the week and this caused some paddocks again to lose top soil. Feed conditions vary also with the south coast recording reasonable perennial growth with other pastures having had a reasonable germination. The majority of areas continue to supplementary feed their cattle. Early calving is now well under way in southern districts.

Saleyard numbers continue to shrink with a lack of pastoral cattle supplies that were evident prior to Christmas, while the majority of vealers have now been sold. This week is the end of the two-day sales format in the Great Southern with the one day sales reverting to the Thursday next week.

Market strengthens again

Vealer supplies continue to diminish in saleyards with Mt Barker's numbers almost halving on the last sale. The volumes of heavy weight vealers also diminished with a higher percentage of medium and predominately lightweight classes offered. There was a considerable jump in demand from local and eastern states buyers. Prices throughout the classes were recorded at higher levels with the majority of medium and heavy weight vealers steers dearer by 5¢ to 8¢/kg. Lightweight vealer steers and heifers realised the largest gains with most of these recording increases of 10¢ to 15¢/kg. Lightweight vealer steers averaged around 230¢/kg under demand from all sectors including live exporters. The volumes of prime grass finished trade weight yearlings continued to be tight and consequently demand from the local processors was again very solid.

This was also the case in heavy weight export steers and heifers, where again there was a selective eastern states processor demand. This was also evident in the heavy weight cow market over the past week which created slightly dearer values. The younger and plainer cows continued to record solid restocker demand.

SA weekly cattle summary

Smaller numbers

The improved prices paid last week at all sales apart from cows in the South East, led to increased numbers coming forward at the SA LE. It was a mixed quality yarding with more plain cattle being offered to a regular field of trade and processor buyers that sold erractically and was quite hard to follow at times. Feeder and restocker orders were quite active and had more numbers from which to source supplies. There were also a few more pastoral cattle offered, including some that had made the long trip from Western Australia. Mt. Gambier's Monday export category sale was the last until further notice and attracted a similar sized yarding of grown steers, cows and bulls. The regular buyers were operating with the grown steers generally cheaper, the grown heifers unchanged, D2 Friesian steers dearer, and the cows fluctuating but still averaging 300c/kg cwt.

Naracoorte's larger numbers met demand for the vealer steers being the strongest as restockers pushed the trade to a high of 236c/kg for lightweight C2 steers. However, their sisters outdid them by reaching 244c/kg for C3 lightweights. Large numbers of yearling steers were cheaper, as were the heifer portion. Grown steers were also cheaper with the medium weights most affected.

Mt. Gambier's Wednesday market attracted a smaller yarding of mainly young cattle that sold to solid competition from the usual buyers, with a single Limousin lightweight heifer selling at 261c/kg. Millicent's numbers fell as numbers dry up in that region.

Fluctuating trends

It was a week of fluctuating trends as most buyers tried to rein in their prices. Vealer steers to the trade and local butchers sold from 189c to 236c to vary from 2c to 8c cheaper and 1c to 2c/kg dearer for the B muscled. Feeders and restockers sourced increased numbers, with C2 sales 190c to 235c and at mainly dearer levels. Vealer heifers to the trade were 3c to 9c cheaper as most sold from 192c to 233.5c/kg. Yearling steer B2, C3 and C4 were from 183c to 220c to be mainly 5c to 10c/kg cheaper. Feeder and restocker orders sourced a wide range of quality from 132c to 225c at generally dearer levels. Yearling heifers followed a similar pattern, with C3 and C4 sales cheaper, between 174c and 210c/kg.

Grown steer C3 and C4 sales were from 174c to 212c to be 1c to 5c cheaper; and averaging around 360c/kg cwt. Grown heifers attracted solid demand with C3 and C4 sales from 174c to 200c/kg, with perhaps a Korean order in mind. The D3 to C6 beef cows sold from 133c to 172c to be generally unchanged to 5c cheaper, and mainly from 285c to 315c/kg cwt.

VIC weekly cattle summary

Quality improves

Further heavy rain over the weekend affected the supply of cattle to some of MLA's NLRS reported sales. This resulted in the overall throughput falling 10 per cent, but the last two sales of the week at Colac, and Bairnsdale offered increased numbers. While the 50 to over 200mm of rain assisted in lower supply, it has all but guaranteed a solid transition into autumn.

It is only February, and supply is lower than normal, and coupled with consumers returning to the butcher for meat, demand for young cattle was again very strong. This was a factor behind the EYCI at the completion of Thursdays markets sitting at 393.25¢, which was 2¢/kg higher when compared to the week earlier. Feedlots and restockers played a significant part in price outcomes as well, purchasing 20 per cent to 30 per cent of the young cattle offered.

The fall in supply sparked some stronger demand consistently for cows. There were some mixed trends though as Colac young cattle were quoted cheaper, as were the grown steers and bullocks at Leongatha. The price reduction recorded for grown steers and bullocks at Leongatha bought them back in line with other sales after last weeks extreme prices.

Generally, the quality of all cattle has improved across all of the NLRS reported markets, and some sales were quoted offering a lot of heavy young and grown cattle. Lighter weight vealers are in the shortest supply and are making big money. This trend is also evident at store and weaner sales which continue to set record prices, and this appears to show no boundaries.

Cows in demand

Although only in single lots, restockers paid to 276c/kg for lightweight calves, but they were chased all the way by processors. It is currently the vealer selling season, and a good number of top quality B muscle vealers were sold between 220¢ and 240¢/kg. As the light end of the vealers become harder to find, C muscle vealers make anywhere between 190¢ and 230¢/kg. The strong demand across nearly all classes of C muscle yearling steers resulted in them averaging just over 200¢ with sales to a top of 230¢/kg. Yearling heifers also sold to strong competition and averaged 195¢ with most making from 185¢ to 218¢/kg.

Despite the ups and downs across the markets, grown steers and bullock prices finished firm. Prices for prime C muscle bullocks were between 185¢ and 202¢, as grown steers made to 215¢/kg. Very strong demand for grown heifers and good quality cows saw some near record prices paid. Grown heifers made to 198¢ and the best cows reached 180¢/kg. A general run of 3 to 5 score cows made between 150¢ and 175¢/kg. Lean 1 and 2 score were highly sought after and saw a large range of beef and dairy cows make 128¢ to 166¢/kg. The carcass weight price average for all cows was 317¢/kg.

NSW weekly cattle summary

Number fall away

After a number of weeks of solid yardings as producers caught up following a disrupted start to the year, numbers at most markets were down on last week. Wagga and Inverell were further hampered by rain in the supply areas to be down 41 per cent and 33 per cent respectively. Gunnedah and Scone were the exceptions, as Gunnedah yarded 1,000 more head while Scone had 4 per cent more stock.

The drop in numbers was felt across most categories with 11 per cent fewer yearlings offered across the state. Export categories experienced the largest contractions in supply, the number of grown steers was down 28 per cent compared to last week and the cow offering fell 27 per cent. On the other hand the supply of vealers continues to improve. Vealer steer numbers were 5 per cent higher and the heifer offering was 23 per cent larger with both categories made up of a mixture of weaners suited to return to the paddock and prime milk veal. This was reflected in purchases as 50 per cent of the vealer steers were bought by restockers and 45 per cent were purchased to be processed.

Feeders were again active in the yearling pens accounting for 54 per cent of the steers and 39 per cent of the heifers. Restocker also remain competitive on young cattle helping to maintain a floor in the market on well bred lines as the season is good and herd rebuilding continues. This was also evident at last week's Dubbo store sale were PTIC cows averaged $1,080/head.

Direct to slaughter rates eased with a couple of processors easing rates as supply picks up.

Varied price trends

Light vealer steers to slaughter were not able to maintain recent high prices to average 253¢ with isolated sales to 274.6¢/kg. The medium weights remained unchanged at 242¢ while the restockers paid to 274¢ with most around 248¢/kg. It was a similar story for the light vealer heifers with processors bringing their prices well back as most averaged 253¢ and the medium weights were unchanged in making between 220¢ and 242¢/kg. A large run of light yearling steers to restockers averaged 225¢ as the medium weights made closer to 211¢/kg. Feeders were active across all yearling steer categories paying from 203¢ to 222¢/kg. Heavy weights to slaughter averaged 203¢/kg. Medium yearling heifers to feeders gained 4¢ to 204¢ as medium and heavy weights to the trade ranged from 194¢ to 203¢/kg.

Medium weight grown steers to feeders were firm to slightly dearer with most sales from 187¢ to 193¢/kg. Good quality heavy steers for export slaughter ranged from 193¢ to 196¢ with sales to 215.6¢/kg. Bullocks generally sold in the mid to late 180¢/kg range. Medium weight cows sold firm to 3¢ dearer as the leaner lines averaged 136¢ as the D3 and D4s made mostly from 145¢ to 150¢/kg. Heavy D4s held firm at 154¢/kg.

QLD weekly cattle summary

Numbers slip

A 6 per cent reduction in throughput at MLA's NLRS reported markets was recorded even though Longreach held their first sale for 2011. The declines that were realised at Dalby and both Roma sales could not be negated by the increases at the Toowoomba markets as well as Warwick. When compared to the corresponding week in 2010, current supply was 27 per cent higher. Young cattle accounted for almost 65 per cent of state throughput with the yearling steer portion being nearly as large as the total grown cattle penned.

Quality ranged from fair to good across all markets. There is starting to become a greater variation in price though between the properly finished, well bred cattle when compared to the plainer lines. There is however limited difference between prices for young bullocks and full mouth bullocks which was evident at both Warwick and Dalby.

A good panel of buyers was present across the majority of markets with representatives covering all categories. Selling and buying cattle was difficult at Roma on Tuesday though, as heavy rain during the sale bought selling to a halt for short while. The small run of vealers offered where generally cheaper after starting the week at dearer levels. Most of the yearling steers and heifers were also dealt losses. The exception to this was the large run of light yearling steers which benefited from improved quality at the Roma Store market to lift 8¢/kg returning to the paddock. Grown steers and lean bullocks ranged from firm to 7¢/cheaper while the better heavy weights and bullocks were slightly dearer. Cows generally sold to a mixed trend with the better covered lines selling dearer.

Prices varied

Calves to slaughter eased 4¢ to average 240¢, with restocking lines making around 244c, after topping at 319.2¢/kg. Vealer few vealer steers were offered as the medium weight vealer heifer potion mostly ranged from 200¢ to 220¢/kg. Most of the light yearling steers returned to the paddock from 220¢ to 228¢/kg to be dearer, whereas the medium weights lost up to 10¢ to average 210¢/kg. Medium and heavy weights to feeders mostly made from 195¢ to 212¢ to be 4¢/kg cheaper. The small run of yearling steers purchased by the trade generally sold in the mid 190¢kg range with sales to 222.2¢/kg. Light yearling heifers secured by restockers eased 2¢ to 205¢ while the heavy weights averaged 202¢/kg. Medium weights to feeders sold mainly in a range from 190¢ to 194¢/kg. Medium and heavy weights to slaughter made from 191¢ to 194¢/kg.

Most of the medium weight grown steers went to feeders at 184¢ to be 6¢ cheaper as slaughter grades held firm at 176¢/kg. Good heavy steers improved just 1¢ to 185¢ after topping at 203/kg. The better end of the bullocks averaged 186¢, as leaner lines made closer to 172¢/kg. Medium D3 and D4 cows averaged 141¢ and 154¢kg respectively as the heavy D4s made closer to 154¢/kg.

TheCattleSite News Desk

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