Grids lift amidst solid rainfall

03 November 2015

Direct-to-works cattle prices lifted across the eastern states this week amidst supply contractions. In recent days, good rainfall, albeit patchy, was recorded across Queensland, NSW and into northern Victoria. Furthermore, the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) eight day forecast predicts more rain on the horizon, particularly across the south-east of the country.

  • Adult cattle slaughter in Queensland declined 12% last week, to 74,265 head, partly as a result of some plants closing on the Monday due to the Butchers Holiday
  • Slaughter in NSW declined 1%, to 37,287 head
  • Victoria processed 30,327 head, back 1%

The largest increases in over-the-hook prices were recorded in Queensland and NSW, while Victoria also recorded gains.

  • The Queensland trade steer indicator (240-260kg cwt, A-C muscle, 5-22mm fat score) increased 12¢ this week, to 530¢/kg cwt
  • The NSW trade steer indicator gained 12¢, to 507¢/kg cwt
  • The Victorian trade steer indicator improved 8¢, to 529¢/kg cwt

Cow prices have also shown a strong recovery, despite the approach of full utilisation US imported beef quota. This indicates some exporters may be purchasing lines to be processed and landed in the US under the 2016 quota. The Queensland over-the-hook medium cow indicator (260-280kg cwt, A-E muscle, 0-32 fat score) lifted 12¢ this week, to 470¢, with some quotes in the market for heavy cows now back to 500¢/kg cwt.

Likewise, saleyard cow prices have also recovered well, with the eastern states medium cow indicator finishing Monday at 232¢, up 3¢ from where it finished last week and just 12¢/kg behind where it peaked in late September. Southern cow prices have also found additional support from northern NSW and Queensland export processor buyers entering the market in recent weeks.

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