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Highest cattle yardings in four years

08 December 2023

Key points:

  • This week’s cattle yardings were the largest since November 2019, reaching 82,587 head.
  • Most eastern states increased yarding between 26% and 80%. Yardings through Western Australian saleyards dropped by 7%.
  • Prices for all cattle indicators continued to improve with increases between 9¢ and 27¢.


This week’s cattle yardings reached 82,587, a 59% or 30,639 head increase to last week’s yarding figures. These numbers haven’t been seen through saleyards since November 2019.

Major cattle states had significant increases to their yardings. Queensland yarding rose by 80% to 29,198, and NSW had a 70% increase to 35,254 on the previous week. In Victoria, numbers totalled 10,983, up 26%, and South Australian sale yards were up 2,099 for a 31% increase to 4,627 head.

Western Australian yardings eased by 7% to 2,453. This continued easing in yardings through WA is not unexpected as the state has not had the same rain that has played a significant role in the outlook confidence felt through eastern saleyards.

Six saleyards more than doubled their yardings compared to last week’s figures:

  • CQLX Gracemere: 187% to 3,949
  • IRLX Inverell: 147% to 3,046
  • Roma Store: 147% to 8,025
  • Forbes: 122% to 2,052
  • Mt Compass: 105% to 1,083

Yarding figures by indicator had a general rise in each category. Restocker animals had a promising increase with national restocker yearling heifer yardings up by 118% on last week’s numbers and 117% year-on-year. Restocker steers were up by 74% to last week and 77% on last year. This is likely reflecting a change of confidence in the market and seasonal outlook after the higher-than-expected rainfall throughout November.

Feeder steer and heavy steer yardings rose by 78% and 27% respectively over the week, an impressive 95% and 174% increase on year-ago figures. Finally, processor cows and dairy cows had a 39% and 11% yarding increase week-on-week, and an 81% and 15% jump compared to last year.


The increase in yardings has had little impact on the continued rise of saleyard cattle prices across cattle indicators.

The national dairy cow indicator had the largest increase over the week, rising 27¢ to 183¢/kg carcase weight (cwt). Feeder steer and heavy steer prices had a healthy increase of 24¢ and 22¢ to 305¢/kg cwt, 256¢/kg cwt respectively. Processor cow price rose by 14¢ to 213¢/kg cwt.

The restocker indicators showed the smallest shift, with week-on-week prices for restocker heifers going up by 9¢ to 273¢/kg cwt, and restocker steers up by 13¢ to 337¢/kg cwt experiencing.