Queensland cattle in yard

Yardings and slaughter are up and the EYCI climbed again. Heavy steers and vealers are charging ahead but the Australian dollar has stubbornly pushed higher, which is not an ideal situation for export prospects going forward.

East coast yardings leapt forward week on week, with the largest market in the country, QLD leading the charge, jumping skyward by 47%. NSW also came up 43% higher, while VIC increased a more modest 17%. Numbers are about 5% off the levels we saw  a month ago, particularly in NSW.

Overall, a 39% increase in numbers saw 40,732 cattle yarded on the east coast for the week ending 21st August, which is 26% down compared to the same time last year.

Slaughter numbers made progress, lifting 9% from the week prior, regaining some of the lost ground suffered in last weeks steep plunge. Again, QLD led the increase, up 25% on last week, while VIC backed off 7%, and NSW retreated marginally by 2%.  A total of 106,674 cattle were processed, which is down 29% compared to the same time in 2019.

The Eastern Young Cattle Indicator (EYCI) just keeps on rising – up another 1.3% on the prior week, settling at 788¢/kg cwt. Over the last month, it has increased around 5%. On the categories this week, restockers posted respectable gains, but heavy steers and vealers dominated, advancing strongly, while processors, particularly older animals went the other way and lost ground.

Heavy steers were up 32c, (9%), and vealers also charged ahead, spiking 28¢ (7%)  to respectively close at 379 ¢/kg lwt and 422 ¢/kg lwt, with heavy steers returning to just above the price we saw at the start of the month, while vealers are up more than 10% in the last three weeks.

Restockers and feeders continued to be popular, both up 8c (2%) to end the week at 449 ¢/kg lwt and 403 ¢/kg lwt, while medium steers and cows both fell behind, shedding 11c (3%) and 7¢ (3%) to finish up the week at 361 ¢/kg lwt and 260 ¢/kg lwt. Processors tracked sideways, dipping by 2¢ to close at 402 ¢/kg lwt.

The 90CL Frozen Cow price continues to stand its ground against the persistently strong dollar, dipping marginally by 1¢ to settle at 677¢/ kg. In what is not particularly fantastic news though, the aussie dollar surged forward, up 1.4% to at 0.726 US.

The week ahead….

The BOM’s outlook for the next week is basically dry as a bone for cattle regions, with little expectation of any rainfall right across the country, giving paddocks a chance to dry out. The drier conditions might see some increases in producer interest in offloading some cattle, which could translate into an increase in yardings, and maybe a little less enthusiasm for restocking. This is tempered however, by the longer-term outlook, with the BOM is predicting a 70% chance of a La Niña event forming in Australia, meaning above-average rainfall for most of the country in the coming year.

Have any questions or comments?

We love to hear from you!

Click on graph to expand

Click on graph to expand

Click on map to expand

Data sources: MLA, Mecardo

Make decisions with confidence- ask about our board packs, bespoke forecasting and risk management services

Have any questions or comments?

We love to hear from you!

Winter brings the wet

The start of winter brought with it the rain, with widespread falls adding to the guage. Tighter supply this week was what helped drive prices

Read More »

Let’s hope China’s hungry

Cattle slaughter rates have reached levels not seen since 2020, and so this week’s big beef news of China removing import suspensions on five Australian

Read More »

Want market insights delivered straight to your inbox?

Sign up to the mailing list to get regular updates to new analysis and market outlooks

Independent analysis and outlook for wool, livestock and grain markets delivered to you as it’s published

Commodity conversations podcast cover image, a illustration of a sheep standing on a cow's back with grain either side
Listen to the podcast

Join the Mecardo team for the Commodity Conversations podcast, where we provide short weekly market recaps and longer conversations with guests to discuss the drivers and trends in livestock, grain and fibre markets.

Photo of a farmer surrounded by Merino sheep in dusty yards
Research: Analysis of the Australian sheep flock

In this report for LiveCorp and MLA, we analysed the historical trends in the demographics of the Australian sheep flock, examining domestic factors that influence farm-level enterprise decision making. 

Image of harvested grain pouring into a chaser bin

We don’t just bring you the most up to date market insights. Find out more about Mecardo’s services including risk management advisory, modelling, benchmarking, research & consultancy.