Northern cattle markets go from strength-to-strength

16 August 2016

Highlighted in MLA’s latest North of the Tropic Beef Report, rainfall throughout Central Queensland and other major producing regions saw northern cattle markets continue to strengthen in July.

Emerald, Charters Towers and CQLX Gracemere selling centres operated fully throughout the month and recorded a lift in average weekly consignments.

Supported by the improved seasonal conditions, all indicator categories in July were dearer than the month prior:

  • The north Queensland saleyard restocker steer indicator averaged 20¢ higher – at 345¢/kg lwt
  • The north Queensland saleyard light steer indicator averaged 10¢ higher – at 314¢/kg lwt
  • The north Queensland saleyard medium cow indicator averaged 9¢ higher – at 245¢ lwt

Scheduled plant maintenance closures combined with heavy rainfall in some areas restricted kill numbers somewhat, with the north Queensland weekly cattle slaughter averaging 29% lower year-on-year – at 18,292 head. Following a similar trend to that seen in the physical markets, the north Queensland over-the-hook indicators continued to increase in July, averaging 20¢/kg cwt higher across all major categories – with most contributors lifting quotes a further 10¢ to 20¢/kg cwt this week (15 August).


This week, compared to the same time last year:

  • The north Queensland over-the-hook trade steer indicator averaged 553¢ – up 72¢/kg cwt
  • The north Queensland over-the-hook heavy steer indicator averaged 563¢ – up 73¢/kg cwt
  • The north Queensland over-the-hook medium cow indicator averaged 489¢ –up 36¢/kg cwt

Additionally, highlighted in the latest edition of Livelink, live feeder and slaughter cattle exports for the January to July period declined 21% on the same time last year, to 628,635 head (ABS, DAWR).

To view the latest edition of the North of the Tropic Beef Report, please click here.

To view the latest edition of LiveLink, please click here.

Additionally, to subscribe to either of these monthly reports, email

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