In focus: South-east Queensland

22 October 2015

Continuing drought conditions, combined with increasing prices across most classes, have had a large impact on the supply of cattle into southern Queensland saleyards throughout spring. Throughput at the Roma store sale has consistently hovered around 7,000 to 10,000 head each week, while elevated levels have also been evident at Dalby, with numbers regularly around 5,000 to 7,000 head.

Prices reached a peak in late September, with the QCMI reaching 324.6 points. At Dalby, export slaughter lines of bullocks sold around 316¢, while good heavy cows averaged 265¢ and made to 281.2¢/kg over this time. Young cattle were also in demand, with vealers steers to restockers making into the 370¢/kg range. Medium and heavy weight yearling steers to feed generally sold around 320¢/kg.

However, by early October, the consistently large supplies of cattle had a big impact on prices. The QCMI fell to 287.2 points and saw slaughter bullock prices less than 290¢, and good heavy cows mostly around 238¢/kg in the Dalby sale. Medium weight yearling steers to feed generally sold in the 280¢/kg range.

Subsequently, by mid-October the lower prices saw numbers at most saleyards decline. On the back of tighter supply, the QCMI started to climb again this week.

At Dalby this week:

  • Despite only isolated falls of light rain in the eastern half of the state, restockers displayed more interest and lifted average prices on light weight young cattle by 4¢ to 8¢/kg week-on-week.
  • Feeder classes also experienced some improvement to average 10¢ to 16¢ dearer, with heavy weight yearling steers averaging over 300¢/kg.
  • Cows regained some of the previous week’s losses to average 8¢ to 15¢/kg dearer.

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