EYCI breakdown: state by state

17 October 2018

Substantial rain across a large portion of the eastern seaboard over the last week has provided some market confidence, with saleyard throughput showing a marked decline. The Eastern Young Cattle Indicator (EYCI) climbed back over the 500¢/kg carcase weight (cwt) mark on Monday (15 October). Young cattle prices in Queensland in particular have improved in recent weeks in anticipation of the northern wet season, finishing last week trading at a premium over their southern counterparts.


After falling to a low of 434¢ in mid-August, the average price of EYCI eligible cattle in Queensland has seen somewhat of a resurgence to finish last week at 506¢/kg cwt. Over the last month, restockers have become more active in the market. Nearly 50% of young cattle purchased through saleyards were returning to the paddock  last week, increasing from 29% at the same point in September.

The rise in prices comes on the back of a fairly pronounced shortening of supply of EYCI eligible cattle over recent weeks. Queensland’s total saleyard throughput of EYCI eligible cattle last week was 4,690 head, half what was available in the corresponding week in September. Young cattle going to feedlots are earning a 9¢ premium from those going to restockers and 35¢/kg cwt more than cattle bought by processors in Queensland.


Young cattle prices in NSW have remained fairly stable since the end of August, hovering between 480¢ and 510¢/kg cwt. At the end of last week EYCI eligible cattle averaged 498¢, an 8¢/kg cwt discount to comparable offerings in Queensland.

Saleyard throughput of EYCI eligible cattle in NSW has seen similar declines to that in Queensland, a decrease of 60% month-on-month. The majority of these are being purchased by feedlots (56%), while restockers (23%) and processors (21%) were active on the rest. Lot feeders in NSW were paying a 14¢ premium over processors and 18¢/kg cwt on top of what restockers were willing to pay last week.


After holding on much better than the northern saleyards, young cattle prices in Victoria have seen a steady decrease since mid-July. Last week EYCI eligible cattle in Victoria traded at an average discount of 37¢ from Queensland and 29¢/kg cwt from NSW. The biggest decline since the peak in mid-July has been what restockers are willing to pay for young cattle. Average prices for young cattle to restockers are down 113¢, to now be trading at a 57¢ discount to what feedlots are willing to pay and 63¢ below the average price going to processors.

The supply of EYCI eligible cattle in Victoria has not quite seen the decline of Queensland and NSW, although they are down 30% on the corresponding month in August, with 1,200 head going through MLA-reported saleyards last week.

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