Eastern states feeder indicators regain record territory

25 November 2015

Most of MLA’s eastern states paddock feeder cattle indicators recovered October’s losses last week and hit a new record. The looming shortage of feeder cattle caused most contributors to dig deeper into their pockets.

Domestic feeder steers (280-350 kg lwt) lifted to 326¢/kg lwt, up 2¢ from the week before, and 133¢ or 69% from the same time last year. Similarly, feeder heifers (280-350 kg lwt) lifted 1¢ from the previous week to 312¢/kg lwt, which is up to an even greater extent than steers year-on-year, at 79%, or 138¢.


Cattle destined for longer feeding programs (>220 days) improved 6¢ from the previous week, averaging 338¢/kg lwt, which wasn’t quite enough to recover the losses through October, but are now only 6¢ shy of those levels.

While the feeder indicators edged higher this week, the grainfed over-the-hooks have all held steady for the past month, with 100 day grainfed steers at 559¢/kg cwt and the 70 day cohort at 552¢/kg cwt.

The tightening margin between the two indicators may provide a clue as to whether or not the record surge of cattle on feed will come to an end or not. If it does, it will more than likely be a gradual process if there is a poor northern wet season, yet probably be more dramatic if there’s widespread ‘above average’ rainfall.

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