MLA: Weekly Cattle Summary

AUSTRALIA - This report is a collection of weekly cattle price summaries from each Australian territory by Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA).
calendar icon 28 June 2013
clock icon 8 minute read
Meat & Livestock Australia

South Australia

Consignments ease

Total yardings throughout SA reduced 21 per cent week-on-week as reported by MLA’s National Livestock Reporting Service, with most markets reducing in numbers across the state, while Millicent’s monthly sale was back in operation.

Cattle supply at the SA Livestock Exchange dropped substantially, 67 per cent , consisting of strong competition from buyers, while numbers at Naracoorte also declined considerably, 51 per cent , with the usual panel of buyers active for a generally dearer market. On the other hand, throughput at Mount Gambier improved 50 per cent from last week, with the usual buying group in attendance for firm to dearer market trends.

Quality improves in places

There were some improvements in quality across most markets, with well-finished cattle experiencing price gains, while plainer lines sold mainly cheaper. The SA Livestock Exchange saw generally good quality cattle, with the majority of buyers bidding strongly to secure quality lines. Additionally, demand was strong for all weights and grades of cows offered, as there were limited numbers penned.

Similarly, there was better quality cattle at Naracoorte compared to the market last week, including a number of supplementary fed yearlings offered. The general buying group was in attendance, and consisted of restocking orders that were active for a dearer market. The yarding this week did not contain any grown steers, and the numbers of grown heifers offered were in limited supplies.

Quality still remains mixed at Mount Gambier, with varying conditions across most weights and grades of grown steers.

The young cattle section comprised mostly of yearlings, while vealers and supplementary fed cattle were in limited supply. Plainer conditioned lines sold cheaper to restocker and feeder orders, while grass finished lines remained firm.

At Millicent, the regular buying panel was present for a dearer market overall. Quality varied throughout the vealer section, while there were limited lines of well-finished cattle offered.

Prices lift

Heavy weight C3 vealer steers to slaughter sold between 180¢ and 201¢, down 24¢, while the equivalent heifer portion from 194¢ to 217¢/kg. Light C2 yearling steers were 22¢ dearer to feed, averaging 161¢, while light D2 yearling heifers to restock averaged 134¢/kg.

Heavy C4 grown steers to process lifted 31¢ on 181¢, and light D3 grown heifers to slaughter averaged 140¢, up 30¢/kg. Light D2 dairy manufacturing steers were 4¢ higher, selling from 114¢ to 126¢, while medium D3 beef cows increased 19¢, to average 127¢/kg. The medium C2 bulls to process ranged between 110¢ and 154¢, to be 19¢/kg dearer.

New South Wales

Cattle numbers remain steady

Consignments remained similar as cattle numbers slipped only 4 per cent at MLA’s NLRS markets week-on-week. Showers during the week continued across parts of the state, combined with heavy rainfall along the coast and southern tablelands.

Wagga along with Forbes commenced the week yarding similar consignments; however CTLX Carcoar penned 20 per cent less cattle. Gunnedah lifted 11 per cent , as the northern markets of Inverell, Casino and Armidale increased around 11 per cent to 15 per cent , while Tamworth lifted 37 per cent . The Hunter sales were inconsistent as Scone penned fewer numbers, while Singleton increased their consignments.

Quality remains mixed

The majority of markets reported mixed to plainer quality offerings. Younger cattle continue to dominate market percentages, as cow categories made up the bulk of the older cattle penned. Again equal numbers of vealer steers and heifers were penned, as 81 per cent of steers sold to restocker and lot feeder orders, with the bulk of the heifers going to the processors.

Around 34 per cent more yearling steers were yarded compared to the heifer portion, as the majority again sold to restocker and feeder interest. Similar percentages of prime conditioned heavy weight steers and bullocks to slaughter were penned. Cow numbers slipped, 26 per cent with 2,440 head offered.

Prices sold to varying trends

Vealer steers returning to the paddock lost 3¢ to 7¢, as vealer heifers to the trade slipped 2¢/kg. Yearling steers and heifers sold firm overall, however increases were recorded for those selling to restocker and lot feeder interests. Prime heavy weight grown steers and bullocks, together with the older heifers gained 4¢/kg. Cows trended dearer by 6¢, as the 2 scores averaged 100¢, while the 3 and 4 scores ranged from 94¢ to 141¢/kg.


Consignments remain steady

Total yardings across Victoria remained relatively unchanged from last week, as all sales reported by MLA’s NLRS operated, with greater numbers reported at the majority of markets. Consignments at Ballarat were 21 per cent lower week-on-week, while throughput almost doubled at Camperdown.

Numbers at Pakenham lifted, with 11 per cent more cattle penned, while cattle supply at Shepparton remained unchanged. There were less numbers yarded at Wodonga and Leongatha, down 18 per cent and 16 per cent , respectively, while Warrnambool improved 13 per cent . There were increased yardings at Bairnsdale and Colac this week, to be 11 per cent and 36 per cent higher, respectively.

Plainer quality cattle

The regular buyer groups at most sales across the state attended a firm to dearer market overall, with quality generally plainer across most weights and grades. There were limited numbers of top quality calves reported at Shepparton, while Bairnsdale saw an excellent quality offering of vealers sell to strong demand. Supplementary fed yearling cattle numbers were in strong supply at Pakenham, with young cattle also well-represented at Wodonga.

There was a fair to good quality selection of supplementary fed steers and heifers at Shepparton, with older grown heifers at Warrnambool selling according to quality. Wodonga reported a reasonable supply of grown steers and bullocks of fair condition and increased numbers of well-finished beef lines, while leaner cow grades sold to increased buyer competition.

Grown cattle firm to slightly dearer

Vealer steers sold 4¢ dearer for B muscled lines, while C3 lines also improved 2¢/kg week-on-week. Yearling steers to processor orders were firm to 4¢ dearer, with the majority selling between 156¢ and 215¢/kg, as the well-bred lines attracted higher prices. Yearling heifers followed a similar trend with heavy weights to slaughter averaging 173¢, up 8¢/kg week-on-week.

The better quality 500kg to 600kg grown steers to slaughter topped at 198¢, to average 179¢, back 3¢ on last week, while D muscled lines averaged 184¢, up 3¢/kg. Light grown heifers were firm to 2¢/kg dearer across most grades. Medium and heavy weight dairy cows sold 4¢ and 2¢ dearer, respectively, while D4 beef lines topped at 150¢, to average 133¢/kg.


Yardings remain solid

Some more light rain across the very eastern fringe of the state dramatically dropped numbers at markets early in the week. Nevertheless the return of Longreach into the selling program combined with the end of financial year numbers across the state at physical markets covered by MLA’s NLRS remained similar to the previous weeks high level.

A full gallery of buyers were in attendance at Warwick and apart from some adjustments in places due to quality, competition was stronger across most classes. However, by midweek at Dalby buyers were very selective on the young lightweight cattle especially the heifer portion.

Feeder buyers push prices higher

A large number of calves returned to the paddock 3¢ cheaper at 178¢ with sales to 195.2¢/kg. Vealer steers to restockers and feed averaged close to 187¢ with sales to 200¢/kg. The supply of vealer heifers and lightweight yearling heifers exceeded demand and average prices eased by 2¢ to 10¢/kg.

Vealer heifers to the trade averaged 150¢ with some to local butchers at 194.2¢/kg. Restocker competition remained firm on lightweight yearling steers with a fairly large sample at 178¢ with sales to 194.2¢/kg.

Competition between restockers with oats to graze and feedlot buyers at Roma and Dalby pushed prices for heavy weight yearling steers to a higher level with a large selection in the high 160¢ range, with some to 176.2¢/kg. The large supply of lightweight yearling heifers generally sold in the early 140¢/kg range.

Heavy grown steers averaged 162¢, while a fair sample of bullocks made to a top of 177¢, to average 163¢/kg. Cows generally sold to a dearer trend with improvements of 2¢ to 4¢ and up to 11¢/kg on restocker lines. Medium weight 2 scores to processors averaged 99¢ and 3 scores close to 111¢/kg. Good heavy cows made to 137¢ to average 127¢/kg.

Western Australia

Near record rainfall in north

The unusual and unseasonal weather conditions continued again this week in the Kimberley and Pilbara with further heavy rainfall recorded. Wide spread flooding has been reported with further interruptions again in mustering activity. The southern Ag districts saw only light rainfall this week with the largest falls recorded in southern coastal regions, while eastern areas remain in parts very dry with June’s rainfall at this stage of the month well below the average. Feed conditions in the traditional cattle rearing areas remain solid, despite recent cold temperatures and some frosts. At this stage forecasts have predicted little or no rainfall for most of the south.

Throughput increases

Cattle physical numbers improved at all three weekly saleyards with the southwest’s numbers however remaining limited. Despite the wet conditions in much of the north the supplies of pastoral cattle dominated Muchea’s yarding. Local trade and heavy weight steer and heifer supplies remained low, while cow supplies were fair with reasonable numbers of yearling store grades available with overall quality remaining mixed.

Demand remains firm

Trade weight yearling demand, for grass and supplementary fed remained lines were firm from the local trade and retailer sectors for both steers and heifers.

Store yearling quality was mixed with price fluctuations realised from feeders and restockers, but generally competition was similar to the previous couple of weeks. Heavy weight steers and heifers enjoyed an increase in processor demand with both local and pastoral drafts realising higher values. Cow quality and weight were both fair.

Once again trade inquiry remained solid with very little change recorded in local prime heavy weight drafts, while pastoral drafts enjoyed price rises of up to 6c/kg lwt. Heavy weight bulls again remained generally unchanged in value, while live export demand on lightweights remained selective.


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