Heavy to young cattle discounts flipped

Beef cattle

Young Cattle on the East Coast are below 400¢/kg cwt for the first time since March 2019. The more affordable trend has seen the heavy steer discount to young cattle flipped which may potentially coax those confident in their feedbase back into the young cattle market.

The Eastern Young Cattle Indicator (EYCI) finished the week 27¢ lower to 397¢/kg cwt, a -6.4% week-on-week change. When we look at the same time last year, 679¢ have been wiped off the EYCI, a 63% year-on-year change.

On the lean beef front, the 90CL indicator continues to improve, up 6¢ to 830¢/kg AUD. The national processor cow indicator this week trended lower falling 12.3% week on week to 313¢/kg cwt (169¢ /kg lwt). The yarding figures through the sales yard for processor spec cows were very similar to the previous week at 10,290 head (a -5% week-on-week change).

For the month to date in September, processor cow throughput per the MLA sits at 23,922 head. This is already 11% above September throughput in 2022. Processor demand for this spec of cattle should be and is strong given the export pricing and margin available, however, we are also seeing significant supply for this type of cattle in the yards currently.

New South Wales restocking and feeder cattle markets saw an influx of supply this week. A 12% increase in throughput saw the National Restocker yearling steer indicator finish the week 8¢ lower to 233¢/kg lwt. An 18% increase in feeder steer spec cattle throughput saw the feeder indicator nationally fall to 235¢/kg lwt, a decline of 15¢. Argus reports that feeder spec cattle in southern markets might find themselves heading north in the coming weeks. In Queensland, the feeder steer indicator improved 4¢ to 248¢/kg lwt.

National heavy steer indicator lost 19¢ to 233¢/kg lwt, a 7.6% drop week on week. With the young cattle price decline in the last few months outpacing the finished cattle pricing, we are back to a position where young cattle are now at a discount to heavy steers at a national level (See Figure 2), potentially presenting an opportunity for those that might have a feed platform heading into 2024.  

Next week

Slaughter last week was 44% higher year on year on the East Coast, and this level of productivity will likely be required for the next month to move through the cattle that might head to market after the BOMs declaration.

Have any questions or comments?

We love to hear from you!

Click on graph to expand

Click on graph to expand

Click on graph to expand

Data sources: MLA, Steiner, Argus, Refinitiv, 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!
Northern bos indicus cattle in yard

Someone let the bulls out

It could’ve been a post Beef Week high, or an adjustment in demand but this week’s market exuded a higher level of confidence. Sellers were

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.