Northern bos indicus cattle in yard

The EYCI has continued to show stagnation, staying on par with last week; most likely suppressed by a recovery in yarding’s, despite the support of continued low slaughter. The national indicators were a mixed bag, with only vealers and restockers winners; with the rest backtracking. As young cattle of any description are highly sought after, and in short supply; it’s no surprise that vealers have been steadily rising for months now.

Yardings lifted 20% week on week, lead by a strong 37% lift in QLD; backed up by a substantial 36% increase in VIC.

A total of 47,137 head were yarded on the east coast for the week ending 26th February 2021, which was 7,819 more than the prior week. Numbers of cattle on offer are now almost on par with the same time last year, but are still 20% down on the 5-year average.

Slaughter crawled up another 1%, with QLD kills rising 8%, offset by an 11% decline in NSW

For the week ending 26th February, 2021, 100,875 head were slaughtered, which was up a very marginal 1,405 head from the prior week.

The EYCI has continued on a slovenly path, remaining stationary this week at 858c/kg cwt. With higher still yardings probably in sight next week; it might be a while till we see some more action on this front.

The National Indicator categories were mostly red ink this week, with medium steers falling the most, while vealers continued their unsurprising ascent, and restockers made a modest gain.

Vealer steers were the standout, putting on 14¢ (3%) to reach 506¢/kg lwt, while restockers added 3¢ (<1%) to finish the week at 521¢/kg lwt.

On the less lucky side, medium steers shed 14¢ (3%) to close at 389¢/kg lwt; while heavy steers also dipped 3¢ (<1%) to settle at 370¢/kg lwt.

Feeder and processor steers respectively gave up 8¢ (2%) and 2¢ (<1%) to end the week at 438¢/kg lwt and 445¢/kg lwt.

Medium cows shed 3¢ (1%) to finish up at 284¢/kg lwt.

The Aussie dollar appreciated a smidgen, to rise to 0.7773US. Inflation concerns are rising in the US, with Biden’s 1.9 trillion-dollar fiscal stimulus package starting to be seen as overkill, and the prices paid index already suggesting that the US is already running at 3% inflation.

90CL fell back 6¢ (<1%) last week; but was supported by continued very limited supply of Australian product into the US market, and a larger than expected decline in US cow slaughter, which is down 21% from last year.

The week ahead….

The rainfall situation is looking considerably more generous over the coming week, with SE QLD and Northern NSW set to receive a solid 25-50mm, though VIC and northern QLD will be comparatively parched. With yarding’s finally picking up last week, we might see another increase coming, which may weigh on prices going forward, despite stubbornly low slaughter. On the bright side; cattle are clearly still scarce, and demand relatively strong, so another sideways week coming up is probably on the cards.

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Data sources: MLA, Mecardo, BOM

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