cattle saleyards

A strong week on the cattle markets, with the Eastern Young Cattle Indicator (EYCI) reaching a new height of 932¢/kg cwt on Wednesday. Feeder and Heavy Steers rallied strongly, all pushed along by a tightening market, with some saleyards operating at record low cattle yardings for this time of year.

East coast Yardings dropped again last week, slipping 13% from the prior week, with the bulk of the decline coming out of QLD and NSW. A total of 28,772 head were yarded on the east coast for the week ending 18th June; 2021, down 4,415 head from the week prior and 37% below the five-year average.  Online, at AuctionsPlus, 11,684 head were yarded, down 20% on the prior week, with clearance rates in the 85-97% range for steers, while 90-100% of Heifers offered were successfully sold. 

East coast slaughter also backtracked by 5% with kill reductions occurring across the board. Overall, 94,279 head of cattle were slaughtered for in the week ending 18th June, 2021, down 4,778 head from the prior week.

The EYCI rallied strongly mid-week, reaching 932¢/kg on Wednesday, before sliding back marginally to close the week to 930¢/kg, representing a 2% increase for the week. The National categories featured some strong performers this week, with Feeder and Heavy Steers climbing higher with gusto, respectively adding (21¢) 5% and (15¢) 4% to settle at 443¢/kg lwt and 394¢/kg lwt. The Medium Cow Indicator also had a good run, lifting 7¢ (2%) for the week, closing at 287¢/kg lwt.

Processor and restocker steer prices remained relatively static, only shifting marginally to remain at 481¢/kg and 556¢/kg, while the Medium Steer Indicator lifted 5¢ (1%) to come up to 394¢/kg lwt, and vealers slipped 4¢ (1%) to settle at 531¢/kg lwt.

The Aussie dollar made up for the lost ground last week, appreciating by 1.4% to close the week at 0.758US, as it followed the global trend of strengthening commodity-based currencies.

90CL frozen cow prices just keep reaching for the sky, advancing another 13¢, or 2% to reach 784¢/kg; with Steiner consulting citing that general inflationary trends and strong competition from alternative destinations for imported beef are expected to keep beef values elevated throughout the American autumn season until at least Q4.

The week ahead….

Solid winter rainfall of 25-50mm due for central to southern QLD over the next week will continue to bolster producer confidence, and support the tight market; where yardings are at record lows and contracting at a deeper rate than would normally be expected at this time of year.

However, history tells us that a rebound in supply will be due in the next couple of weeks, it’s just a matter of time. Similarly, we can expect a little bounce in slaughter demand soon, before returning to the usual slow contraction as we head towards spring.

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Data sources: MLA, Mecardo, BOM

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