How do Eastern States saleyard cattle prices compare?

25 June 2015

Saleyard price indicators currently show a distinct premium in the southern states (NSW & Victoria) compared to that received in the north (Queensland), particularly for heavy and medium steers, despite most categories in both regions close to doubling in price year-on-year.

For June-to-date, the average heavy steer (500-600kg) saleyard indicators in NSW (281c/kg lwt) and Victoria (290c/kg lwt) are at a 48¢ and 57¢/kg premium, respectively, to heavy steers in Queensland.

Similarly, medium steer (400-500kg) indicators so far in June are at a 47¢ premium in NSW (273c/kg) and a 50¢/kg premium in Victoria (276c/kg), when compared to their Queensland counterparts.  Although feeder buyer competition on medium weight steers is evident in Queensland and quality is hard to source, the high volumes being consigned direct to feedlots and abattoirs may be impacting price improvements through saleyards.

The southern premiums for trade steers, however, are of a lesser magnitude than for medium and heavy steers. The average June-to-date trade steer (330-400kg) indicators in NSW (284c/kg) and Victoria (279c/kg) are tracking 28¢ and 23¢/kg above Queensland levels. Recent rain events have bolstered producer confidence, with the restocking sector beginning to re-enter the Queensland market and feeder buyers becoming more competitive.

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