Large amounts of rain across the East coast saw producers opting to hold onto cattle as feed concerns eased. This had a positive impact on price seeing all indicators rise. Yardings fell, off the back of last weeks significant jump, leaving buyers competing more over available stock in the market.

After last week’s bounce In yardings, preliminary data from Meat and Livestock Australia showed that yardings returned inline with the downwards trend. Saleyard throughput across the Nation were down 14% week-on-week, with large decreases in Qld from Roma (down 37% to 2575 head) and Dalby (down 55% to 1723 head). This was due to revived producer confidence with large amounts of rain falling which is easing summer feed supply concerns and saw prices continue to rise.

The Eastern Young Cattle Indicator (EYCI) saw its second week of over 40c/kg rises to finish the week at 485c/kg.  The majority of stock sold went to feeders, paying an average of 462c/kg slightly down on the indicator. The highest average price for the indicator was at Armidale where the 145 head averaged 582c/kg, almost one dollar above the indicator.

The Argus Northern Feeder Steer Indicator followed a similar story to the EYCI with rain forcing lotfeeders to compete for stock. Feeder cattle prices rose 23c/kg finishing the week at 274c/kg with yardings down about half from the week prior.

Processor cows numbers were down 29% on the previous week helping boost the price up 8.2% to 187c/kg lwt. Wagga had the highest throughput with 607 head, trading right on the indicator price of 186c/kg lwt. At the top end of the market processor cows at Emerald and Dalby received around the 227c/kg average.

Restocker Heifers saw a larger volume decrease compared to their male counterparts with a 55% week-on-week reduction compared to a 31% reduction of males. This suggests producers are starting to once again hold onto younger breeding stock due to an increase in confidence to get them through the summer. This bucks the trend of the latest September quarter ABARES slaughter data released which showed the female slaughter rates to be 49%, which is above the 47% threshold that suggests that producers had begun destocking.

Next week

Expect to see subdued volumes as producers wait to see how much rain falls and how the market responds to the lower supply and higher prices. The BOM is predicting more rain on the horizon with a 60% chance or higher probability of exceeding median rainfall for the East Coast next week. If true we can expect continued price support and rising confidence from producers to feed cattle through summer months.

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Data sources: MLA, Argus, Mecardo

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