Weekly Cattle Summary

AUSTRALIA - The following report is a collection of market summaries from the previous week across Australia's territories from analysts at Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA).
calendar icon 26 September 2014
clock icon 8 minute read
Meat & Livestock Australia

New South Wales

Supply lifts

NSW cattle supply totalled 28,784 head week-on-week, with Forbes, Gunnedah and Tamworth all registering increases in yardings. Wagga’s supply was firm on 5,945 head, while throughput at Casino slipped nearly 50 per cent, to 785 head.

Inverell yarded 11 per cent fewer cattle on 2,030 head, while rain overnight at Dubbo saw supply fall 22 per cent, to 5,600 head. CTLX’s throughput was 8 per cent lower, on 2,100 head.

Quality continues to be plain

Quality remained mostly plain across the majority of markets, with those that were better conditioned generally supplementary fed. The yearling steer portion at Wagga was not as heavily contested as the heifer portion.

There was reduced restocker and feedlot activity at Tamworth, while Gunnedah registered more feedlot activity. Restockers at Armidale were keen to purchase cheaper lines in the hope of a break in the season soon. Not all southern exporters were operating at Wagga and Dubbo, while one export buyer at Scone was absent.

Prices mostly decrease

Medium weight C2 vealer steers to restockers were 7¢ lower on 200¢, while medium weight C2 vealer steers to slaughter were 2¢ cheaper on 179¢/kg. Light weight C2 yearling steers to restockers decreased 7¢ to 198¢, while medium weight lines to feed eased 4¢ to 199¢/kg.

Heavy weight C2 and C3 yearling steers to feed were firm to cheaper to range in price from 173¢ to 223¢/kg. Light weight C2 yearling heifers to restockers were 3¢ dearer on 173¢, while medium weights to feed eased 5¢ to 178¢/kg. Medium and heavy weight C3 yearling heifers to slaughter slipped 1¢ to 4¢, averaging 184¢/kg.

Heavy weight C3 and C4 grown steers to slaughter were firm to 3¢ dearer, from 197¢ to 206¢, while bullocks to slaughter were unchanged in price on 198¢/kg. Medium weight grown heifers to slaughter lifted 2¢ to average 186¢/kg. Medium weight D2 and D3 cows to slaughter were firm to dearer on 136¢ to 156¢, while heavy weights gained 2¢ to settle on 172¢/kg.

Western Australia

Pastoral cattle yardings strong

Moderate falls of rain in the south eased some concerns, but warmer conditions in the north did not reduce supplies of pastoral cattle numbers. Muchea sale numbers increased to 2,972 head, including calves, with southern sale numbers easing slightly. Pastoral cow and heifer supply was very strong at Muchea, with store young cattle dominating southern sales. Prime trade drafts remained limited in number.

Prices mostly decrease

Prime trade cattle held their prices, with well finished yearling steers making 220¢ to 259¢, to be 1¢/kg dearer. Prime heifers eased 9¢ on quality, with prices between 200¢ and 244¢/kg. Pastoral yearling cattle to the trade made 170¢ to 184¢ for steers, with pastoral heifers from 169¢ to 184¢, up 9c/kg.

Grown steer and heifer quality was plainer, with prices for local steers from 175¢ to 210¢/kg, remaining firm. Pastoral drafts slipped 10¢ with better drafts from 170¢ to 199¢ and plainer drafts from 140¢/kg. Grown heifers slipped 14¢ with the best drafts to 183¢, but most sold from 140¢ to 170¢/kg.

Local store steer prices eased close to 10¢/kg, largely quality related. Steers made from 200¢ to 246¢ for local drafts and 110¢ to 199¢ for pastoral drafts, to be 16¢/kg easier. Pastoral heifers were available in large numbers and prices improved 4¢, with most making between 135¢ and 155¢/kg. Small numbers of local heifers improved 5¢, with sales from 200¢ to 220¢/kg.

Cow prices, both pastoral and local, dropped in excess of 10¢/kg. Heavy D3 and D4 and better medium weight cows, sold between 140¢ and 176¢, back 10¢ to 15¢/kg. The D2 cows were also cheaper with most sales from 128¢ to 158¢/kg. Bull prices also decreased, with heavy weights down 20¢ with prices between 132¢ and 185¢/kg. Light bulls to live export and export feeders decreased 20¢, with prices from 130¢ to 200¢/kg.

South Australia

Supply eases

SA cattle supply, as reported by MLA’s National Livestock Reporting Service, declined 12 per cent this week, to 4,903 head. Numbers at Naracoorte’s Tuesday sale eased 35 per cent, to 2,011 head, while Mount Gambier lost 17 per cent for a total of 1,761 head penned. Contrastingly, the SA Livestock Exchange saw its throughput lift nearly 30 per cent, albeit off a low base. Millicent’s fortnightly sale was in operation this week, yarding 681 head of cattle.

Yearlings in good numbers

Competition was erratic at the SA Livestock Exchange, while at all other markets the overall trend was easier as demand weakened, with plain cattle lacking finish the most affected. Yearlings were plentiful at both Mount Gambier and Millicent this week, and the increased supply of quality vealers at Millicent met with keen interest from trade buyers.

A fair selection of grown steers and a good penning of cows sold to weaker processor competition at Mount Gambier, however cows met stronger demand at the SA Livestock Exchange.

Prices generally ease

Heavy weight C3 vealer steers to processors slipped 7¢, to 192¢, while their heifer equivalents were 16¢ lower to average 172¢/kg. Medium weight C3 yearling steers to slaughter sold 2¢ better week-on-week, averaging 183¢, while heavy C3 lines were 11¢ cheaper on 184¢/kg. Medium C2 and 3 yearling heifers lost between 7¢ and 14¢ and averaged from 154¢ to 169¢, while the heavy C3’s were marginally lower to settle on 174¢/kg.

Heavy C3 grown steers and bullocks sold to processors 7¢ cheaper, topping at 202¢ and averaging around 186¢/kg. Light D3 grown heifers averaged 160¢, up 3¢, and the heavy manufacturing steers sold to a much cheaper trend this week, as much as 20¢/kg lower in places. Heavy D3 beef cows were 26¢ cheaper, on 134¢, while the 4 scores lost 9¢ to average 149¢/kg.


Consignments ease as rain falls in central parts

Cattle numbers across NLRS reported saleyards in Queensland eased by close to 40 per cent yarding 11,496 head, due to a significant decline in throughput at Roma store sale. The recent showers recorded through central parts of the state totalling 40mm in places, assisted in the decline, with numbers at Thursday’s Roma prime sale back 60 per cent totalling only 632 head.

Dalby followed a similar trend back by 26 per cent with numbers totalling 4,300 head which aided in price improvements, especially for export lines.

Export buyer interest remains strong

Young cattle are still finding it hard to receive strong support from restocker buyers, predominantly due to the ongoing dry conditions in western regions. However the recent falls in key cattle producing areas could potentially assist in improved restocker interest in the coming weeks.

Despite the subdued demand from producers, processor and feeder buyers, interest this week remained strong at most selling centres despite one export processor absent at Toowoomba. Processors were keen to source suitable lines at both Roma and Dalby which pushed prices upward across most export categories.

Prices jump for grown steers and cows

With the majority of saleyards still yarding large numbers of plain yearlings and vealers, prices have remained relatively stable, while grown cattle prices have improved. Light yearling steers to restock topped at 232¢ for C2 lines, to average 208¢, while medium weight to feeder buyers eased slightly by 3¢ week-on-week to average close to 198¢/kg.

Plain conditioned light yearling heifers to restockers sold to at similar levels averaging 166¢, while the 300kg to 400kg C2 lines to feeder orders sold from 164¢ to 214¢, to average 196¢/kg.

The well finished heavy grown steers lifted 10 on last week averaging 215¢, while the heavier bullocks (600kg to 750kg) topped at 225¢ to average 211¢/kg. Medium weight D3 and 4 score cows sold 15¢ to 17¢ dearer on last week averaging 165¢ and 185¢/kg, respectively. Heavy D3 lines topped at 209¢ to average 13¢ making 192.6¢/kg.


Supplies fall

Victorian cattle supply, as reported by MLA’s National Livestock Reporting Service, eased 22 per cent week-on-week, to 11,807 head, with all markets reporting smaller yardings.

Shepparton and Wodonga had 40 per cent and 27 per cent fewer consignments, at 2,285 head and 3,650 head, respectively, and Leongatha and Pakenham recorded a 23 per cent and 11 per cent fall in supply, at 1,222 head and 1,453 head, respectively. Supplies at Ballarat, Camperdown and Warrnambool were also reduced, with 546 head, 787 head and 970 head yarded, respectively.

Quality mixed

Buyers were selective across most markets, as the number of plainer condition cattle increased. At Shepparton, quality was mixed, with cows experiencing the biggest drop in price, and quality trade cattle were in short supply at Leongatha, with the limited offering selling to strong demand.

At Wodonga, there were an increased number of trade cattle which did not meet processor specifications and sold to manufacturing orders, while feeder buyers were very selective on purchases. Quality was plain at Pakenham, with a limited number of prime cattle on offer, while in Warrnambool there was a good yarding of quality grown steers and bullocks.

Prices ease

Prices eased week-on-week across most categories, with the exception being some pens of better quality vealers and a few lines of heavy bulls. Heavy B2 vealer steers were 4¢ dearer, averaging 213¢, and heavy B2 vealer heifers were 5¢ dearer, averaging 206¢/kg.

Heavy C2 yearling steers to lotfeeders slipped 10¢, averaging 188¢, while C3 lines to slaughter eased 5¢, averaging 198¢/kg. Heavy C3 yearling heifers to processors averaged 185¢, selling from 162¢ to 218¢, while D3 lines eased 6¢, to average 177¢/kg.

Heavy C3 grown steers eased 5¢, averaging 193¢, and C4 bullocks made 195¢, selling from 170¢ to 212¢/kg. Heavy D3 cows to slaughter slipped 7¢, averaging 157¢, and D4 lines eased 6¢, averaging 163¢/kg. Heavy B2 and C2 bulls gained 1¢ and 3¢, respectively, to average 177¢ and 174¢/kg.


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