cattle in field image

There was a return to relatively normal supply last week, but the market held its ground against the big lift in numbers. AuctionsPlus reported last week that it was their largest volumes of cattle on offer since April 2021 with an abundance of ‘mid-weight steers, heifers and PTIC breeders’ lifting the overall supply numbers.

Larger numbers were also seen in the slaughter figures last week, with Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) reporting over 25,000 (<40%) more head of cattle slaughtered on the east coast than the Australia day week, however, this is still 8% down on the same week of 2021.  

Yardings also increased, with 113% more cattle sent to the yards. Just over 36,000 cattle were yarded on the east coast for the week ending 4th of February 2022 compared to 17,000 the week prior.

The Eastern Young Cattle Indicator (EYCI) softened this week down 11¢ (-0.9%) to 1,119¢/kg cwt. Dalby was the largest contributor to the index again this week, at 16% of the seven-day rolling volume, with a price of 1,115¢/kg cwt. This was closely followed by Roma store, which notched up the highest average price of the week at 1,202¢/kg cwt, and represented 12% of the index.

Over in the west, the Western Young Cattle Indicator (WYCI) fell 29¢ for the week to settle at 1087¢/kg cwt with just over 300 head of cattle contributing to the indicator.

All the national cattle indicators lifted on the week prior. The Vealer, Processor & Heavy Steer indicators were all  15¢+, although in NSW the Vealer & Processor Steer indicators fell. The Restocker Yearling, Feeder, Medium Steer & National Cow indicators all made modest gains between 1.5 & 4.4¢.

Over to the US and buyers there continue to face shortages of supply despite taking increases from Brazil. This week on Mecardo Angus Brown looked at the relationship between the US 90CL beef price and our cattle market (view article). It looks like the 90CL’s current high price range will be supported in the next few years as cow herd liquidation and fewer heifers being retained in the US means lower beef supplies are still forecast there for the next 2-3 years, due to the shrinking of their herd.

Speaking of, the US frozen cow 90CL price lifted by just 1¢ (0.1%) to 919¢/kg, on the back of a fall in the AUD last week. This week, the Aussie dollar recovered 1.2% to reach 0.716US.

Next week

With plenty of rain still falling about the northern half of Australia, demand for cattle from southern & central areas of Queensland should still continue to support the market, as well as the larger export market demand which shows no sign of slowing. 

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Click on graph to expand

Data sources: MLA, NLRS, Mecardo

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