A more positive week for cattle to report on with the EYCI holding its ground, slaughter increasing and many of the categories putting on some respectable gains. We saw restockers returning to favour, as well as heavier animals and vealer pricing going in the right direction.

East coast yarding’s advanced 5%, with QLD numbers coming back to book an increase of 20% on last week, and VIC continuing it’s climb, up another 18%. In contrast, NSW yardings fell back 15% to levels seen roughly a fortnight ago.

Overall a 5% increase in numbers saw 44,125 cattle yarded on the east coast for the week ending 11th September, still 33% off last year’s figures for the same period. This level is not that different to the 5-year average though, so we can’t really say supply is tight compared to recent history.

Slaughter numbers rose again, adding to last weeks rise to put on another 6%, with QLD responsible for most of the increase, booking a 12% rise from last week, with VIC only adding an additional, but welcome 4%, and SA displaying its usual volatility, losing 17%, which only equated to 700 head.

A Total of 111,899 cattle were processed, which is down 23% compared to the same time in 2019, and close to 30,000 head below the 5 year average, with slaughter most closely following the pattern we saw in back in 2016.

No news can still be good news, with the Eastern Young Cattle Indicator (EYCI) holding its ground at last week’s level of 764¢/kg cwt. This week is upbeat for the majority of the categories, with a welcome pattern of green lighting up the board, with restockers ending their losing streak, heavy animals booking gains, and vealers displaying their usual volatility, but in the right direction.

Restockers found their feet this week, up 10c (2.3%) to settle at 450¢/kg lwt, but feeders didn’t quite catch the momentum, only gaining 1c to finish at 400¢/kg lwt. Heavy animals saw some good gains with medium steers up 11c (3%), heavy steers up 16c, to respectably settle at 364¢/kg lwt and 370¢/kg lwt. Medium cows followed along, pushing upwards 5c(2%)  to 264¢/kg lwt. Vealers reached skywards, adding 18c (5%) to reach 433¢/kg lwt, which is the best price seen for over a month.

However, the party was not enjoyed by all, with processor steers losing a marginal 3c (1%) to end the week at 398¢/kg lwt, which isn’t all bad news though when you consider the price has basically held its ground for over a month now.

Looking beyond our shores; the US 90CL Frozen Cow price saw a modest rise, booking an always welcome 4c (1%) to finish the week at 669c/ kg.  More ominously though the Aussie dollar has started climbing again, adding 0.4% to bring it over to 0.731 US

The week ahead….

The 8-day BOM forecast is telling us that more good rainfall is on the way for the southern states and even into more central areas, though the Queenslanders seem to be missing out on the good times a little. The BOM has also all but called 2020 a La Nina year, which is only likely to improve producer confidence, and encourage restocking in earnest. 

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Data sources: MLA, Mecardo

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