Multiple angus cattle

Welcome rain in some parts of the East Coast might cause some southern producers to roll the dice on holding onto stock. With yarding numbers down this week, producers evidently were willing to wait and see how the weather unfolded, causing mixed results in pricing.

After some solid rainfall in the southern regions of the East Coast, The Eastern Young Cattle Indicator (EYCI) improved 6¢ to 363¢/kg cwt. This slight bounce was helped by EYCI eligible stock yardings this week to Thursday declining 28% week on week.

Western Young Cattle Indicator (WYCI) eligible cattle numbers were up 22% which led to the indicator to decline 19¢ to 492¢/kg cwt.

This week on Mecardo, Angus Brown investigated trade opportunities for cattle in light of the market turning towards the finisher. Feeder and finished cattle markets have moved to a premium to light/weaner cattle meaning those that have the means to feed stock can fatten cattle with lower risk than the same time last year.

In terms of the lighter cattle markets, restocker yearling steer yardings were down 16% and the indicator improved 7¢ to 217¢/kg lwt. The national feeder steer indicator also now sits at 218¢/kg lwt after a 4¢ loss. Feeder steer yardings were down 39% week on week. Which was largely driven by NSW and QLD.

Per Argus, the availability of heavier stock for feedlots is tight, and the average entry weight of stock into feedlots is lower than last year. The national heavy steer indicator improved 22¢ this week to 231¢/kg driven by a 14% week-on-week decrease in throughput.

For the lean beef export trade, the foot lifted off the pedal slightly. Last week the 90CL price in US$/LB was lower on average causing a 12¢ decline to sit at AUD 832¢/kg. This week, Processor cow yardings nationally were down 24% but the indicator still lost 4¢ to 142¢/kg lwt. Despite the lapse this week, the fundamentals of discounted pricing for processor cows and historically strong export grinding beef pricing are still present in the market and should continue to lend support.  

Next week

With the rainfall occurring late in the week, it will be interesting to see how this will impact saleyard demand next week. Will producers offload stock to markets or will producers hold onto young stock to test the waters with more weight later on?

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Click on graph to expand

Click on graph to expand

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Data sources: MLA, Argus, Steiner, BOM, Mecardo

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