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 16 August 2013
clock icon 7 minute read
Meat & Livestock Australia

South Australia 

Supply and quality lift

Numbers increased 27 per cent week-on-week, to total 2,724 head, write market analysts at Meat and Livestock Australia.

Millicent yarded only 144 head for its fortnightly sale. Mount Gambier yardings increased 22 per cent week-on-week, while Naracoorte lifted their throughput 42 per cent . Supply at the SA Livestock Exchange lowered 39 per cent .

Quality was good across all SA markets this week, with young cattle and cows at Mount Gambier of very good quality. The increase in yardings at Naracoorte saw additional supplementary fed yearlings offered and demand was generally stronger across all grades. There was strong bidding at the SA Livestock Exchange from local trade and processors buyers, while feeder buyers bid solidly on store condition young cattle at dearer prices.

Prices dearer under increased demand

Medium weight vealer steers were 8¢ lower on 207¢, while medium weight vealer heifers were 11¢ cheaper on 195¢/kg cwt. Heavy weight yearling steers were unchanged on 188¢, while medium weight yearling heifers were also firm on 183¢/kg. Medium yearling steers to feed lifted 6¢ to 178¢, while light weight yearling heifers to restock and feed increased around 9¢ to settle around 150¢/kg.

Heavy weight grown steers were 4¢ lower on 185¢/kg, while bullocks to slaughter were dearer. Medium weight D2 cows to slaughter were 7¢ higher on 135¢, while heavy weight cows to slaughter gained 3¢ to average 150¢/kg. Heavy B2 bulls increased 4¢ to settle on 145¢/kg.


Supply improves

Total Queensland throughput lifted 22 per cent week-on-week, to total 17,616 head. Dalby cattle supply lifted 24 per cent week-on-week, while Longreach only yarded 1,393 head for its fortnightly sale. Mareeba yarded 46 per cent more consignments, while supply at Moreton eased. Roma Prime supplied 13 per cent more, while Roma Store lifted their supply 7 per cent . Both Toowoomba markets increased there throughput, while Warwick’s supply eased.

Feeder buyers active

Consignments at both Toowoomba markets were dominated by young cattle, while there was a good quality yarding of cows at Toowoomba Elders. Buyer attendance was good at Roma Store and included a large number of restocker, feeder and trade operators. Buyers at Roma Store were generally very selective, while medium and heavy weight feeders continued to meet strong demand. Quality overall at Dalby was mixed, with many poor conditioned lines yarded. Those lines of good quality at Dalby received better support and, as a result, prices improved.

Better quality lines lift in price

Calves to restockers were 10¢ cheaper on 169¢, while vealer heifers to slaughter were unchanged on 163¢/kg. Light weight yearling steers to restock eased 1¢ to 176¢, while light weight D1 yearling heifers decreased 12¢ to 123¢/kg.

Heavy weight C4 grown steers lifted 6¢ to average 168¢, while bullocks to slaughter increased 5¢ to 168¢/kg cwt. Light weight grown heifers were 12¢ cheaper on 105¢/kg. Medium weight D2 cows to process eased 3¢ to average 101¢, while heavy weight D4 cows to slaughter were 2¢ higher on 127¢/kg. Light weight D2 bulls to slaughter were 13¢ dearer on 120¢, while heavy weight C3 bulls to slaughter were 2¢ cheaper on 140¢/kg.

New South Wales

Cattle numbers lift

Numbers lifted 8 per cent at MLA’s NLRS reported markets week-on-week. Wagga commenced the week, yarding 20 per cent less cattle as Forbes slipped around 11 per cent in total. Tamworth decreased 17 per cent , as Gunnedah slipped 25 per cent , while CTLX Carcoar penned similar numbers. The northern Casino market eased 7 per cent . Inverell, together with the Hunter markets, defied the trend, as percentages lifted from 22 per cent to $35 per cent , week-on-week. Dubbo returned to a large offering of over 4,000 head, as Armidale gained 43 per cent in total.

Quality remained mixed

Markets again reported mixed quality offerings. The majority of markets reported percentages of supplementary and crop finished younger and grown cattle in their yarding. Processor competition for the export categories increased, as an extra processor order returned to most sales. Yearlings again outnumbered the vealer categories, as large percentages were sold to the trade and butcher orders. Cow categories made up the bulk of the older cattle penned, with around 2,496 head offered. Prime conditioned heavy weight steers remained around equal in number, around 871 head.

Variable market trends

Medium weight vealer steers, selling to the restockers lost 4¢/kg, as the same weight to processors sold close enough to firm. The heifer portion to processors sold firm, to average 161¢, after reaching 180¢/kg.

Yearling steers to the restockers and lot feeders eased 2¢ to 5¢, as the medium weights averaged from 183¢ to 187¢/kg. Heavy weight yearling steers and heifers to the butchers, maintained firm prices and ranged from 145¢ to 210¢/kg.

The lighter weights to feeder orders trended 3¢ to 4¢/kg dearer. Heavy weight steers and bullocks to slaughter sold 2¢ dearer, as the best reached 200¢/kg. The plainer cows sold at equal prices, as the better finished pens gained 2¢/kg. The better covered 3 and 4 score cows, ranged from 100¢ to 164.5¢/kg. Heavy weight bulls averaged from 151¢ to 161¢, as the tops reached 187¢/kg.


Throughput higher

Total Victorian throughput was 5 per cent higher this week, as mixed trends were recorded across the state. Bairnsdale supply more than doubled week-on-week, while Ballarat yarded fewer consignments. Camperdown and Colac yarded similar amounts, while Warrnambool’s supply was slightly higher. Leongatha and Pakenham throughput increased 24 per cent and 39 per cent , respectively. Shepparton and Wodonga’s supply was 7 per cent and 23 per cent lower, respectively.

Feeder and restocker buyers prominent

Quality continues to be mostly plain across most markets this week, with feeder and restocker buyers more prominent. The wet conditions hampered supplies at Ballarat and Wodonga. Supplementary fed lines at Pakenham were of poorer quality, while supplementary fed young calves were more noticeable at Shepparton. Heavy grown steers and bullocks at Wodonga were well represented. There was strong demand for bullocks and trade steers on the back of better quality at Bairnsdale.

Mixed price trends

Heavy weight vealer steers decreased 5¢ to average 207¢, while heavy weight yearling heifers lifted 1¢ to 198¢/kg. Medium weight yearling heifers to slaughter were 3¢ lower on 180¢, while the heavy weight portion was 2¢ dearer on 177¢/kg.

Heavy weight C3 grown steers lifted 1¢ to 192¢, while bullocks to slaughter were 3¢ higher on 192¢/kg. Medium weight manufacturing dairy steers lost 1¢ to average 163¢/kg. Medium weight dairy cows eased 2¢ to 124¢, while heavy weight D4 cows to slaughter gained 3¢ to settle on 156¢/kg. Heavy weight C2 bulls to process increased 16¢ to 160¢/kg.

Western Australia

 Recent weather fronts produce more rain in south

Seasonal conditions in the southern districts continued to improve this week, with further solid rainfall recorded in the southwest cattle regions. Most of the southwest is now very wet, with good runoff levels reported. Wheatbelt areas south of the Great Eastern highway remain reasonable, while areas to the north and east continue to struggle with very difficult seasonal conditions. The northern pastoral regions also continue to enjoy solid seasonal conditions.

Numbers remain steady

Saleyard numbers remained similar this week, despite Muchea recording lower numbers, with both the Great Southern and southwest sales seeing moderate improvements in their supplies and the latter remaining the smallest of the three weekly sales. Pastoral supplies again dominated Muchea’s yarding. Heavy weight steer and bullock numbers improved this week, while prime trade weight yearling and heavy weight heifer supplies remained tight. Local yearling store numbers remained moderate, as were cow volumes.

Buyers remain selective

The small offering of prime trade weight grain and grass finished yearling’s recorded firm demand from the local trade and retailer sectors. Local yearling store demand was more selective this week from both feeders and restockers with firm to slightly easier prices reported, primarily in heifer classes.

Heavy weight steers and bullocks from both pastoral and local agricultural districts recorded weaker processor interest, despite good quality recorded this week. This was also the case in heavy weight mature heifer sales, while cow demand continued to remain unchanged from local and export processors.

Overall prices eased marginally compared to last week’s levels. Heavy weight bull demand fell this week, with a more conservative trade demand recorded with prices 8¢/kg lower on average.


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