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MLA launches new National Young Cattle Indicator

06 May 2024

A new cattle market indicator that offers a complete view of the national restocker market has been launched today at Beef Australia by Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA).

The National Young Cattle Indicator, or NYCI, is a new national restocker indicator covering multiple sales channels across the country. The NYCI is expected to be used as the most accurate national analysis tool of the restocker market.

MLA’s Market Information Manager Stephen Bignell said the NYCI would provide a user-friendly interface for producers and other stakeholders, capturing young cattle sales across channels under certain specifications.

The indicator will cover yearling, vealer and weaner cattle over 200kg liveweight which are bought and sold as restocker animals, meaning that they will return to a farm to replace livestock, be grown out, or join the breeding herd. The NYCI will cover cattle sold anywhere in Australia, unlike the Eastern Young Cattle Indicator (EYCI) which only covers saleyard markets on the east coast and the Western Young Cattle Indicator (WYCI), which covers cattle sold in the west.

“MLA collects a large amount of market information and is continually looking for ways to share this information with the industry in practical and useful formats,” Mr Bignell said. “The NYCI will be an extension of this, combining and expanding two information sources, the EYCI and the WYCI, on a national scale.”

Mr Bignell said the industry had used the popular EYCI as a ‘catch-all’ of the cattle market, despite the indicator shifting in recent years.

“The opportunity in developing the NYCI is that MLA will have an indicator fit for use for each of the main buyers, processors, feedlots and producers,” he said.

“As processor demands have shifted to larger carcase weights, today most EYCI cattle are purchased by restockers or feeders.

“As the EYCI is a reactive indicator, industry often uses it as a catch all for the market and producer confidence. It was identified that industry was in need of a more accurate national restocker indicator, so we’ve developed the NYCI.”

Importantly, the publication of a restocker specific indicator aggregating multiple channels will improve market information and deliver greater insights.

Similarly to other indicators, the NYCI will feature:

  • NYCI price and head count displayed above a 12-month graph.
  • Change over day, week, month and year.
  • Saleyard contributors section will display saleyard and online breakdown; head, avg value, and % contribution.
  • A heifer/steer/mixed breakdown graph shown at bottom of the graphic.
  • Ability to filter the information by state and report date.