Northern markets ease as wet season comes to a close

17 May 2016

Highlighted in the latest North of the Tropic Beef Report, ‘below-average’ rainfall recorded throughout most parts of northern Queensland* and the Northern Territory over the wet season saw an increase in cattle availability, with a similar trend continuing in April.    

Not uncharacteristic for this time of the year, increased cattle numbers through northern supply chains resulted in lower prices across the major northern markets.

Cattle yardings at CQLX Gracemere and Charters towers contributed to the increase in overall numbers in April, while throughput at Emerald eased slightly. Average weekly consignments at CQLX Gracemere increased close to 500 head on the month prior, with numbers at Charters Towers almost doubling.

In April;

  • The north Queensland saleyard restocker steer indicator averaged 40¢ lower than the previous month, at 300¢ – although 80¢/kg lwt higher year-on-year.
  • The north Queensland saleyard medium cow indicator averaged 199¢ – down 21¢/kg lwt on the month prior.

Cattle slaughter in north Queensland in April increased on the previous month, with the conclusion of the wet season. Despite the most recent quotes in May beginning to lift, northern direct-to-works prices averaged lower in April, compared to March, as seen in most grids across the eastern states.

In April;

  • The north Queensland over-the-hook heavy steer indicator averaged 484¢ – down 20¢/kg cwt on the month prior.
  • The north Queensland over-the-hook medium cow indicator finished close to 20¢ lower month-on-month – averaging 413¢/kg cwt.

To view the latest edition of the North of the Tropic Beef Report , please click here.

Additionally, to subscribe to this monthly report, email

*for the purposes of the North of the Tropic Beef Report and this article, north Queensland is defined as north of and including Rockhampton.

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