In focus: Gippsland, Victoria

29 October 2015


The Victorian cattle market has experienced fluctuating price trends over the past couple of months. Saleyard throughput declined at the beginning of spring, and prices reached a peak in September, with most categories of cattle selling at record levels across the state. Subsequently, producers capitalised on the elevated prices, which saw throughput across Gippsland saleyards lift – returning to similar levels year-on-year in late September.

Consignments continued to climb in early October as the season rapidly deteriorated across much of Gippsland, with the central and southern regions recording very little rain over the past two months. East Gippsland has been the exception, receiving average to above-average rainfall over the same period.  

The EYCI reached a peak of almost 600¢/kg cwt in late September however the surge in supplies contributed to the indicator’s rapid decline to around 520¢/kg cwt by mid-October.

At Pakenham, heavy weight trade steers reached 347¢ during the highs in September, averaging 321¢, while October-to-date prices for similar lines have averaged 296¢/kg lwt. Despite the month-on-month decline, the October average remains 96¢/kg above the same time last year.

Bullocks at Leongatha reached a high of 328¢ in September, averaging of 321¢/kg lwt. In mid-October, however, processor orders topped at 295¢, averaging 289¢/kg – still 108¢/kg lwt above year-ago levels.

Solid demand for feeder cattle saw prices for medium weight feeders steers at Pakenham range from 290¢ to 325¢/kg lwt during mid-to-late September. Cattle of similar quality in mid-October were selling around 40¢ lower than the September peak, with prices between 247¢ and 280¢/kg lwt.

The number of young cattle lacking finish has increased, as dry conditions across much of Gippsland place pressure on feed and water supplies, causing early weaning of calves and increased turnoff of cattle.

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