Aussie cattle indicators trend dearer

01 October 2015

Most Australian cattle markets were again dearer this week, despite very little rain across much of the country and offerings increasing at many centres. The Eastern Young Cattle Indicator (EYCI) gained 3.5¢ week-on-week, to close Thursday’s markets at 594.75¢/kg cwt.

The largest yarding at Dalby in over 12 months (7,500 head) did little to limit price gains, with EYCI eligible cattle at that market lifting 13¢/kg cwt, averaging 580¢/kg cwt. Similarly, the Roma store market gained a further 9¢ this week for EYCI cattle (592¢/kg cwt) with reports of some restockers displaying keen interest in calves and light steers.

Slightly further south, similar categories of cattle at Casino averaged 568¢/kg cwt, while at CTLX Carcoar (618¢/kg cwt), Gunnedah (605¢/kg cwt), and NVLX Wodonga (603¢/kg cwt), the market remained strong, assisted by feedlots and some restocking interest.

The heavier end of the market maintained strength, with the eastern states heavy steer indicator finishing the week at 569¢, while medium cows averaged 498¢/kg cwt. This is encouraging, considering the noticeably lower beef exports to the US during September after 85% of the quota was reached on 31 August.

Another major economic movement that has an impact on the beef industry this week was the A$, which dipped to 69.5US¢ on Tuesday, before increasing only slightly by the week’s end. The continually weakening A$ should act to counter the higher cattle prices for international customers.

A more concerning movement has been the ongoing weakening of the US beef and cattle markets, with high volumes in cold store slow to move as a result of consumer resistance from the high prices. This is likely to continue until cold stores clear, but the factors working in Australia’s favour are the low US cattle herd, weaker A$ and looming shorter Australian beef supplies.

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