Trends and analysis
The week in review 16/05/13
Patchy falls do little for cattle markets
- Patchy rainfall across several states was welcome over the past week, although totals were still too small to significantly bolster the recent faltering cattle market, with the rain having only a minor impact. With the window for pasture growth in southern Australia rapidly closing, producers will be very closely evaluating their carrying capacity over the winter months, with every dry week that passes by accentuating the supply pressures coming out of Queensland.
- The Eastern Young Cattle Indicator (EYCI) closed Thursday’s markets on 282.5¢/kg cwt, back 3¢ from last week, while nationally, the medium cow indicator was also back, settling on 229¢/kg cwt, down 4¢, while the heavy steer indicator was down 1¢, closing on 307¢/kg cwt.
- Furthermore, recent declines in the cheaper A$ are unlikely to have any immediate impact on markets, but should be seen as much needed positive news for the industry. Given that almost all reports indicate that processors are booked up for several weeks in advance, the ability for the lower A$ to be reflected in the market is limited, but its influence should come to bear over time if the lower levels can be sustained, or even continue to depreciate. This week saw the A$ fall below parity for the first time since mid-June last year, finishing Thursday at 98.8US¢.
- Lamb and mutton markets this week finished generally weaker, despite tightening supplies and some decent falls in the Riverina and Victoria. The Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator (ESTLI) closed the week on 389¢/kg cwt, up 11¢, while nationally, heavy lambs declined 5¢, to close on 418¢/kg cwt, and the mutton indicator finished firm, on 158¢/kg cwt.
Light showers across most states
Welcome showers were experienced across most states this week, with light falls over much of NSW, Queensland, the NT and northern WA. Isolated regions of Victoria, Tasmania and south eastern SA received decent rain, from 25 to 50 mm, which assisted sheep markets. Parts of northern Queensland continued the very dry run, registering no rain again this week, and pressuring producers and markets alike.
Red Meat 2000 - 2010: A turbulent decade, a vibrant industry
The recently released Red Meat 2000-2010: A turbulent decade, a vibrant industry report takes a look at the event filled decade the Australian red meat industry has faced. From droughts to the discovery of BSE in Japan (2001) and North America (2003), the global financial crisis in 2008 and the currently high A$, the report captures the peaks and troughs in the industry during the last ten years. It also explains the drivers behind these events.
ABARES Farm Survey
The beef, prime lamb and sheep data collected through ABARE's annual agricultural and grazing industries survey (partly funded by MLA) is available in an online database. Users are able to individually tailor combinations of information for all the annual red meat industry physical and financial data collected through the survey.
Australian beef industry
Australian sheep industry
Access the Farm Financial and Physical Database
Statistical databases from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) also contain useful information on world production, exports, imports and consumption of agricultural products.
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