AUSTRALIA – This report is a collection of weekly cattle price summaries from each Australian state by the Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA).
New South Wales
Numbers remain steady
Total throughput has remained relatively firm at markets reported by MLAâ€™s NLRS declining only 2% week-on-week. Total yardings across most selling centres varied with an increase seen at Dubbo of 65%. The significant increase is due to a substantial surge of yearling steers and heifers yarded compared to last week. Inverell also followed the same trend as throughput increased 60% with young cattle dominating the market. Consignments at Gunnedah improved 18% consisting predominately of young cattle. These increases were offset by declines at both CTLX and Wagga both recording a 26% and 25% reduction respectively.
Plainer lines of young cattle are being offered with little change in quality from last week. As winter deepens the young cattle continue to feel the effects of the cooler temperatures. There were sporadic offerings of supplementary fed grown cattle available however the majority remain grass finished. The usual buyers were present at most markets with restockers and feeders competing to secure the better quality lines. Processors were also present with prices reflecting a more competitive market.
NSW indicators generally increased with the cow indicator experiencing greater competition lifting 6Â¢ to settle on 136Â¢/kg lwt. The NSW vealer steer indicator eased 1Â¢ to average 211Â¢/kg. The yearling steer indicator lifted 1Â¢ while heavy steers dropped 2Â¢ on 189Â¢/kg. The Eastern States Young Cattle Indicator (EYCI) reflected the competition between feeder and restockers lifting 3Â¢ to settle on 378.50Â¢/kg cwt.
Prices strengthened as supply slipped slightly as competition for quality cattle intensifies. The limited calves on offer sold predominately to restockers ranging from 209Â¢ to 258Â¢/kg. Restockers also competed heavily for vealer steers with light D2â€™s varying from 197Â¢ to 268Â¢ lifting 12Â¢/kg. Medium C2â€™s remained relatively firm easing 1Â¢ on 212Â¢/kg. The bulk of vealer heifers sold to processors with medium C2â€™s gaining 3Â¢ on 199Â¢, while to restock prices ranged from 160Â¢ to 199Â¢/kg. Light yearling steers saw increased demand lifting 7Â¢ to average 208Â¢, while medium weights to feed settled on 202Â¢/kg. Light yearling heifers lifted 6Â¢ to fluctuate from 160Â¢ to 215Â¢ while the medium C3â€™s sort increased demand up 11Â¢ making 199Â¢/kg.
Medium grown steers to feed varied from 162Â¢ to 209Â¢ to be 4Â¢ better, while the heavy portion to processors topped at 206Â¢ to average 191Â¢/kg. The C2 bullocks to processors topped at 202Â¢ up 6Â¢/kg. Light grown heifers finished on 173Â¢ up 3Â¢, while the heavy C4 portion remained firm on 176Â¢/kg. Processors took the majority of medium cows at 124Â¢ with some heavy dairy portion averaging 122Â¢/kg. Heavy D4 cows experienced greater interest ranging from 125Â¢ to 156Â¢/kg.
Wet weather restricts supply
The wet weather last week continues to restrict supply into the saleyards with numbers at physical markets covered by MLAâ€™s NLRS falling a further 12%. Most centres recorded reduced supply however with the country starting to dry out in the supply area around Dalby numbers experienced a small increase, while the Roma prime sale recorded the smallest yarding for 2012.
Young cattle continue to dominate the selling pens representing 60% of total supply as at this time of year some producers choose to wean straight into the saleyards. The quality of the heavy steer and bullocks portion was generally good while the cow section contained a large supply of leaner categories.
Extra restocker buyers were present at most markets, while a full gallery of export buyers was present and operating. Values generally improved across a number of sections, and while restocker buyers continue to be optimistic about the winter seasonal conditions, in places were selective with their purchases with only well bred classes commanding a high rate. Yearling steers and heifers to feed all improved in value with medium weights steers 16Â¢ better, and heavyweight export feeders 6Â¢/kg dearer.
Demand clearly outweighed supply on heavy steers and bullocks and as a result prices lifted by 7Â¢ to 8Â¢/kg. Lean cows continued to be in demand from restockers as well as processors and the vast majority of lower fat scores sold to processors. The better conditioned heavy weights sold to a market 3Â¢ to 5Â¢/kg dearer.
Most classes dearer
Calves returning to the paddock averaged 212Â¢ and sold to 234.2Â¢/kg. Vealer steers purchased by restockers made to 240.2Â¢ in pen lots with most at 220Â¢/kg. Vealer heifers to local and southern processors in the south of the state made around 200Â¢/kg with isolated sales to butchers at 227.6Â¢/kg. Lightweight yearling steers returning to the paddock averaged 211Â¢ and sold to 231.2Â¢/kg. A fair selection of medium weight feeders averaged 207Â¢, while a large sample of heavy feeders averaged 6Â¢ better at 195Â¢ with a few pens to 208.2Â¢ some returning $1095/head. A relatively short supply of medium weight yearling heifers to the trade experienced a big lift in price to average 207Â¢ and sold to 221.2Â¢/kg.
Heavy steers to export slaughter improved in price by 7Â¢ to average at 182Â¢ and sold to 190.2Â¢/kg. A fair sample of bullocks averaged 8Â¢ better at 183Â¢ with a few pens to 190.2Â¢/kg. Cows to restockers averaged 127Â¢ with the occasional pen to 140Â¢/kg.Lightweight lean cows to processors averaged 105c, and medium weights 113Â¢/kg Medium weight 2 scores mostly sold around 118Â¢, and 3 scores 132Â¢/kg. Good heavy cows made to 160Â¢ to average 5Â¢ dearer at 150Â¢/kg.
Supply at markets reported this week by MLAâ€™s NLRS increased, albeit only 1%, with just under 44% contributed from Leongatha and Wodonga. Young cattle only accounted for 34% with the vealer portion almost non existent which is to be expected for this time of year. Fair numbers of yearlings were penned with steers in the greatest supply. Cows were again offered in the largest numbers with grown steers also available in fair supply.
The declining seasonal conditions have again been highlighted in the mixed quality cattle that were offered. There were good quality lines that were under solid demand from processors.
A dearer trend was evident across almost all categories. Vealers were mainly 4Â¢ to 8Â¢/kg dearer with the yearlings firm to 5Â¢/kg dearer. The grown steers climbed 3Â¢ to 6Â¢/kg, as cows gained 3Â¢ to 9Â¢/kg.
Cattle throughput at the nine weekly markets reported by MLAâ€™s NLRS for the 2011-12 fiscal year was down just 1% when compared to the previous 2010-11 fiscal year. Five markets reported greater numbers, while the remaining 4 had fewer throughput. The largest market, accounting for 22% of the states total was Wodonga, while Pakenham and Shepparton each offered around 16% of the numbers. The smallest prime market reported was Ballarat which represented just 3%. Young cattle accounted for 37% of the total throughput with the yearlings accounted for just over 60%. Cows represented 47% of the grown cattle as the dairy portion representing 43% of the total cows offered. Grown steers accounted 32% of the states yarded.
A dearer trend
Most of the C medium and heavy vealer steers ranged from 203Â¢ to 221Â¢ as the heavy B muscles topped at 246.6Â¢ with most around 195Â¢/kg with most going to the trade. The rather small number of vealer heifers sold to 247Â¢ with the C muscle medium and heavy weights selling closer to 195Â¢/kg. Over half of the yearling steers were heavy weights that were purchased by the trade from 201Â¢ to 203Â¢ after reaching 230Â¢/kg. Medium C muscle yearling heifers to the trade averaged 191Â¢ with the plainer lines ranging from 173Â¢ to 184Â¢/kg. The few heavy C muscle heifers ranged from 190Â¢ to 197Â¢, as the D muscle lines averaged 169Â¢/kg.
Good heavy steers ranged from 190Â¢ to 195Â¢ with sales to a top of 203.2Â¢/kg. The bullocks and heavy bullocks range generally made from 173Â¢ to 190Â¢/kg. The light end of the dairy cows averaged 91Â¢, as the medium weights ranged from 100Â¢ to 113Â¢ which was 10Â¢ to 14Â¢/kg dearer. The heavy dairy cows were 7Â¢ dearer with most sales from 118Â¢ to 130Â¢/kg or 270Â¢ to 290Â¢/kg cwt. Medium weight beef cows ranged from 129Â¢ to 134Â¢ after making to a top of 144.6Â¢/kg. Good heavy cows sold mostly from 138Â¢ to 146Â¢ with sales to 155Â¢/kg. The heavy cows averaged close to 290Â¢/kg cwt.
The SA LE had similar numbers containing predominantly young cattle in mixed quality runs. Naracoorteâ€™s numbers rose slightly with quality slipping on the young cattle, while there were some very good quality cows available. Mt. Gambier had just over 620 head for yet another small winter yarding, while Millicent had only 190 head for its fortnightly sale.
The SA LEâ€™s yarding sold to a generally easing trend, the only exception being some good quality drafts of supplementary fed yearlings that were less affected by the lower prices. However, there were very good prices paid for a small number of vealers. Yearling steers to the trade were cheaper, with medium weights to feeder activity following suit. Apart from some restocker purchases of D2 medium weight beef cows that were slightly dearer, all other sales to processors were much cheaper.
Naracoorteâ€™s yarding sold to steady SA and Victorian trade and export competition. Most buyers though were limited with their purchases due to most young cattle being only in 1 and 2 score condition. However, there were some good quality supplementary fed yearlings that attracted the strongest demand at dearer levels. Feeder and restocker orders were active on 1 and 2 score lightweight Angus and Murray Grey vealer steers and heifers. The beef cows tended to sell at prices unchanged to 6Â¢/kg cheaper.
Mt. Gambierâ€™s yarding contained very mixed quality runs of young cattle and grown steers, while overall cow quality was very good. There were also some plain quality lightweight Friesian bulls that sold to a local restocker order after some drawn out bidding.
It was a fluctuating priced sale week that was exacerbated by the varying quality. Vealer steers in limited numbers to the trade sold from 198Â¢ to 223Â¢ with an isolated sale at 242Â¢/kg. This tended to leave most sales unchanged to 5Â¢/kg cheaper. Feeder and restocker purchases of C2 lightweights were from 192Â¢ to 203Â¢ at prices 5Â¢/kg less. Vealer heifers to the trade on small lines sold between 160Â¢ and 228Â¢, or 5Â¢ to 8Â¢/kg dearer. Feeders sourced C2 lightweight heifers from 184Â¢ to 195Â¢ at unchanged prices. Yearling steer C3 and B2 sales of mainly heavyweights were from 160Â¢ to 212Â¢ at prices 6Â¢ cheaper for the C muscled and 12Â¢/kg dearer for the B muscled. Large numbers of C2 steers to feeder activity were from 160Â¢ to 209Â¢/kg. Yearling heifer C3 medium and heavyweights sold between 165Â¢ and 210Â¢ at prices 2Â¢ to 10Â¢/kg less.
Grown steers in mainly 2 score condition sold from 160Â¢ to 190Â¢, with the C2 medium weights 13Â¢/kg dearer. The 2 to 5 score beef cows sold generally from 110Â¢ to 148Â¢ to vary from 2Â¢ to 4Â¢ cheaper, and 5Â¢ to 8Â¢ dearer as most sold between 255Â¢ and 290Â¢/kg cwt.
There was minimal rain recorded throughout the state with the majority falling in the south west. Cattle yardings commenced the new financial year with greater numbers up 23%. Katanning throughput held firm while Muchea yarded 36% more numbers week on week. Considering total cattle throughput in the state was back 10% in the 2011- 12 financial year compared to 2010-11 the increase in throughput this week can only be seen as a positive sign.
The majority yarded were pastoral cattle with a solid supply across the young and grown portion of the yarding. Feeder cattle were also in good numbers and buyers were mostly active on the medium weight yearlings and heifers. Restockers secured the majority of the light yearling lines with the C2 varieties attracting the strongest competition.
Muchea experienced a general improvement in quality in comparison to last weekâ€™s sale. There were some good levels of supplementary fed drafts of young cattle along with some good quality grown cattle. Prices generally improved across all categories with extra demand on the majority of lines. At Katanning quality remained mixed with most of the steers and heifers suitable to feed and restock. Prices were again strong with solid demand from restockers for medium and heavy young cattle assisting the gains. Processor competition was elevated for the cow portion with buyers keen to secure suitable well-conditioned lines.
The majority of WA indicators gained ground with the feeder steer indicator the standout gaining 16Â¢ to finish on 228Â¢/kg. Heavy steers went forward 3Â¢ to 213Â¢ while the pastoral cow indicator was 10Â¢ higher on 142Â¢/kg. Heavy cows and light bulls were firm on 152Â¢ and 166Â¢/kg.
The majority of price categories reported by MLAâ€™s NLRS were higher with the strong competition assisting movements. Light yearling steers to restock were 45Â¢ higher to range from 210Â¢ to 250Â¢ averaging 239Â¢/kg. Medium weight C2 yearling steers to feed were up 26Â¢ to average 232Â¢ while the heavy weight pastoral cattle settled on 189Â¢ an increase of 13Â¢/kg. Light yearling heifers were in good supply and restockers paid 19Â¢ more with the majority selling at 216Â¢/kg. The medium weight yearling heifers to feed ranged from 199Â¢ to 228Â¢ up 19Â¢/kg.
Medium weight pastoral D3 grown steers gained 5Â¢ to average 165Â¢/kg. The heavy weight pastoral grown steers were mostly firm selling between 159Â¢ and 181Â¢/kg. Heavy bullocks were slightly lower settling on 170Â¢ to top at 173Â¢/kg. The D3 grown heifers also experienced a declining trend, 7Â¢ cheaper on 149Â¢/kg. Light pastoral cows were 8Â¢ up on 117Â¢ while the medium weight portion gained 3Â¢ to average 153Â¢/kg. Heavy weight D3 pastoral cows ranged from 133Â¢ to 157Â¢ to average 151Â¢ while the D4 portion averaged 153Â¢/kg. Light bulls were 8Â¢ lower on 148Â¢ however the medium weights gained ground up 2Â¢ on 149Â¢/kg. Heavy weight bulls topped at 156Â¢ with most closer to 152Â¢/kg
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