MLA: Weekly Cattle Summary

AUSTRALIA - This report is a collection of weekly cattle price summaries from each Australian territories by the Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA).
calendar icon 8 February 2013
clock icon 8 minute read
Meat & Livestock Australia

South Australia

Increased numbers

Despite increased numbers being yarded with the SA LE resuming again, prices lifted on most categories of generally good quality, which sold to most SA and Victorian trade and export buyers.

However, the SA LE started the week after a fortnights break with 650 head in very mixed quality runs that sold to fluctuating competition from the usual trade and export buyers. Supplementary fed yearlings attracted the strongest competition at mainly dearer levels. However, grown heifers and medium and heavy beef cows all virtually sold below 100¢/kg.

Naracoorte and Mt. Gambier’s larger yardings met with solid trade and export competition from all of the regular SA and Victorian buyers. Feeder and restocker competition also added to the dearer market, as C2 vealer heifers sold up to162¢/kg.

Most categories were anywhere from 7¢ to 20¢/kg dearer, with isolated sales even higher. Good quality runs of grown steers and bullocks at Mt. Gambier sold up to 178¢, while an excellent quality run of heavy beef cows at Naracoorte led to prices rising to 136¢/kg again. With two Victorian processors sourcing 1 and 2 score beef cows to put out, restockers had to lift their prices up to 110¢/kg to compete.

Improving prices

With the strong SA and Victorian processor competition in the South East, it has been a week of improving prices.

The B-muscled vealer steers to the trade sold from 157¢ to 206¢ at prices 12¢/kg dearer. The C-muscled sales were between 148¢ and 196¢, or 8¢ to 27¢/kg more. Feeders and restockers sourced C and B-muscled light and medium weight steers from 139¢ to 181¢ at prices 8¢ to 30¢/kg more.

Vealer heifer prices rebounded as most to the trade sold from 138¢ to 206¢, or 6¢ to 26¢/kg more. Yearling steer C3 medium and heavyweights sold from 140¢ to 184¢, with the heavyweights unchanged and the medium weights 27¢/kg dearer. Yearling heifer C3 sales ranged between 130¢ and 174¢, or 3¢ to 7¢/kg dearer.

Grown steer and bullock C3 to C5 sales sold from 147¢ to 178¢ at prices 3¢ to 10¢ dearer, and generally 275¢ to 320¢/kg cwt. The 2 to 5 score beef cows to processors sold from 70¢ to 136¢, or unchanged to 13¢ dearer and mainly 190¢ to 240¢/kg cwt. Restockers and two processors paid from 76¢ to 110¢ for the D1 and D2 mainly medium weighted beef cows at prices generally 9¢ to 20¢/kg more.


Supply returns to normal levels

A return to fine weather and with most roads now open to transport saw supply lift up to normal levels. Quality continues to be mixed in the young cattle sections, while most of the heavy steers, bullocks and cows were in the 3 and 4 score ranges. The usual processor and feedlot operators were present at most markets, along with a larger number of restocker buyers.

Increased demand for young cattle

A fairly large supply of lightweight yearling steers returned to the paddock around 10¢ dearer at 196¢ with sales to 228.2¢/kg. However restocker buyers were selective and D muscle classes sold at prices prior to the widespread rain with most at 170¢/kg.

Medium weight yearling steers to feed for the domestic market experienced stronger support to average 180¢ with a few sales to 196.2¢/kg. However, heavy feeders experienced no change in price with a fair sample at 175¢/kg.

Well-bred lines of lightweight yearling heifers to restockers and feeders received stronger competition with most into the 170¢/kg range. While excessive numbers of D muscle lines received poor demand with most sales around 160¢/kg.

A small selection of medium weight yearling heifers to the local trade market met spirited competition with some to 207.2¢ with most at 176¢/kg. However the widespread rain had very little effect on lifting prices on the heavy weight yearling heifers with a fair supply in the high 160¢/kg range.

Heavy steers and bullocks to export slaughter sold to a market around 10¢ better compared to the previous large samples available two weeks ago. Heavy steers averaged 184¢ while the bullock portion mostly sold around 181¢ with a few pens to 191.2¢/kg. Cows experienced a stronger market at early and mid week sales.

However at markets late in the week prices could not maintain the levels of the previous week. Medium weight 3 scores averaged 135¢/kg. Good heavy cows were in the largest numbers and made to 167.6¢ to average 150¢/kg.


Throughput higher

Victorian cattle supply as reported by MLA’s NLRS lifted 67 per cent week-on-week, with the majority of centres yarding more cattle. Bairnsdale, Pakenham and Leongatha more than doubled their cattle throughput. Camperdown yarded 42 per cent more cattle, while Colac registered a rise of 7 per cent week-on-week. Shepparton and Wodonga increased there supply 12 per cent and 39 per cent respectively.

Quality remains plain

The plain finished cattle continue to dominate yardings across the state however supplementary fed lines were scattered throughout markets at Pakenham and Warrnambool. The majority of other selling centres yarded mixed quality offerings as good quality grown heifers were well sought after at Leongatha. The majority of buyers were present at most selling centres as restocker and feeder buyers remain selective in their purchases.

Prices mixed

Heavy weight C3 vealer steers to slaughter were 3¢ lower on 181¢, while medium weight vealer heifers to slaughter were 12¢ higher on 163¢/kg. Heavy weight yearling steers to slaughter were 8¢ dearer on 177¢, while heavy weight yearling heifers to processors gained 19¢ to average 153¢/kg.

Bullocks to slaughter gained 11¢ to average 173¢, while light weight grown heifers to restock increased 4¢ to 108¢/kg. Light weight dairy cows lost 7¢ to 63¢, while medium weight lines to slaughter gained 12¢ to 105¢/kg. Heavy weight D4 cows to processors gained 4¢ to 128¢/kg.

New South Wales

Total throughput surges

Total throughput across the state returned to some normality as all saleyards reported by MLA’s NLRS were back in operation after a short trading week and cancellation of some selling centres. The majority of centres recorded increased supplies, as Tamworth, Wagga, Inverell and Forbes all yarded significant numbers.

Consignments a Casino lifted 80 per cent as young cattle dominated the yarding, while numbers at Dubbo increased by around 20 per cent. The only saleyard to record a decline was CTLX, back 11 per cent.

Supplementary fed lines increase

Quality across the state remains mixed across all categories, with increased numbers of young cattle penned. There were good numbers of milk vealers available at Casino, Goulbourn, Scone and Singleton which sold at increased prices.

Despite the increase in supplementary fed lines available, secondary lines continue to dominate yardings. The regular buyers were in attendance and operating across all markets in a slightly dearer market.

Quality influences price

Medium vealer steers to restock lifted 9¢ on average finishing on 200¢, while processors generally paid from 150¢ to 198¢/kg. Light vealer heifer lines to slaughter slipped slightly on average making 183¢, while the majority of medium weights averaged 181¢, ranging from 150¢ to 192¢/kg.

Yearling steers returning to the paddock slipped 5¢ on average making 182¢, while medium weights to feed topped at 194¢ to make 176¢/kg. The majority of the heavy weight lines to feed topped at 186¢ averaging 175¢, while processors paid 176¢/kg on average for C3 lines.

The better quality medium yearling heifers to feed sold from 140¢ to 197¢, while heavy weights to slaughter topped at 200¢ to make 163¢/kg.

Medium grown C2 steers to process sold from 130¢ to 168¢, while heavy C3 lines topped at 187¢ to average 172¢/kg. Light grown C3 heifers slipped 3¢ on average making 158¢, while heavy C4’s generally sold from 146¢ to 174¢/kg.

Medium weight cows to restock sold from 90¢ to 128¢, while processors paid 129¢/kg on average for D3 lines. Heavy weights to slaughter sold 4¢ dearer on 148¢/kg.

Western Australia

Heavy weight cow values wane

Tropical storms and wide spread thunder storms continued in the northern and eastern pastoral regions of WA with average seasonal conditions reported in most areas. Conditions in the south of the state remained hot, fine and dry with no rainfall recorded.

Feed supplies continue to diminish with traditional cattle rearing areas in the southwest reporting average feed levels for this time of year with no water storage problems evident at this time, following on from the thunderstorm activity seen in this years early summer.

With early calving having started there was been an increase in supplementary feeding in some areas, but generally this has been minimal up to this stage.

Saleyard throughput increases

There was an increase in saleyard numbers this week due to a return to the normal sales format following on from the shortened roster seen the previous week due to the long weekend with the southwest sale returning to its normal Tuesday.

Muchea’s numbers rose sharply, the southwest’s numbers were similar, while the Great Southern fixture at Mt Barker saw increased weaner numbers for the last of the two-day sales format and reduced trade volumes.

Heavy weight steer and heifer numbers remained tight in physical markets, trade weight yearling supplies were similar, while there were larger numbers of cows penned with processors continuing to report reasonable booking levels direct to works.

There were again large percentages of light and medium weight weaners as would expected at this time of year as producers finish off the last of last year’s drop. Feeder demand remained similar in suitable weights of both steers and heifers, while restocker demand was more selective.

Heavy weight steers and heifers recorded a continued conservative processor inquiry, while trade weight yearling values were recorded at similar levels. There was a weakening in processor demand for cows with heavy weight drafts easing marginally, while plainer conditioned and store lines of cows continued to receive a buoyant and similar demand from the restocker and trade sectors.

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