Cattle market takes a breather, lambs edge higher

14 July 2016

Following weeks of consecutive gains, the Australian cattle market paused for a breather this week, with all of the eastern states indicators relatively similar to the close of markets last week.

The Eastern Young Cattle Indicator (EYCI) closed the week at 656¢/kg cwt, back 2.25¢ from the previous week, while heavy steers were 325¢/kg lwt.

As has been the case for the past few months, limited availability offered support to the market again this week, with weekly saleyard throughput at 48,294 head, down 17% from the same time last year.

The only resistance came from reduced processor activity, which was reflected in the eastern states weekly slaughter, at 132,192 head, down 19% year-on-year. Notwithstanding, the reduced shifts are largely the result of the Australian cattle herd being at its lowest point in 20 years.

Sheep and lambs recovered some of the losses from the previous week, with all eastern states indicators edging higher. In a similar fashion to beef, the limited availability is offering assistance to the market and will likely remain supportive until the spring flush hits in the coming months.

The Eastern States Trade Lamb indicator closed Thursday at 639¢/kg cwt, up 21¢ from the previous week, while mutton was 20¢ dearer, at 397¢/kg cwt.

A closer examination of the market forces currently at play will be covered in MLA’s July Cattle Industry Projections, released on 18 July 2016, and the Sheep and Lamb Industry Projections, released on 25 July 2016.

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