Initial throughput data from Meat and Livestock Australia
(MLA) shows an increase of 66% in cattle yardings across the nation compared to
last week, the highest weekly yardings seen since 2019. Despite the large
increase in supply, demand also improved with all but one indicator finishing
higher than the previous week.
Supply of cattle into the Feeder Steer Indicator lifted 71%
on the previous week, up to 12,920 head. Dubbo had the highest yarding with
over 2,000 head as farmers looked to cash in on recent price increases in the 2nd
last sale of the year. Feeder Steer prices finished the week at 305c/kg lwt up 4% from last week.
The Eastern States Young Cattle Indicator (EYCI) yardings
smashed last week’s levels rising 70% (11,091 head) to 27,008. Like the Feeder
Steer Indicator, this didn’t have a negative impact on price with it finishing
up 7c/kg on last week to 570 c/kg cwt. This price is now at the same level as
the winter plateau through June and July. Roma had the highest contribution with
over 5,000 head (19% of the total throughput) and averaged 12% over the
indicator at 638c/kg cwt.
Slaughter figures for the week ending the 1st of
December were slightly down on recent weeks, only 1% above the 5-year average.
In contrast, the three weeks prior saw weekly slaughter rates 5% or more above
the 5-year average. The next two weeks traditionally we see a surge in kill
rates before the Christmas wind down.
The 90CL beef export price for the week ending the 1st
of December followed its slight downward trend, ending 1.5% lower to 768 c/kg
in AUD terms. Despite the recent softening, US imported beef prices remain
historically strong as US meet buyers are looking to cover themselves for an expected
large drop in their domestic supply in the new year from recent record high
What does it mean?
Despite the substantial increase in throughput, strong
demand for all categories saw prices continue their upward trajectory, albeit
at a subdued rate. This is a positive signal that the market is finding new
support levels and may continue to rise. Next week should see strong yardings
as some saleyards have their final sale for the year and farmers look to
capitalise on recent price increases.