Over-the-hook update

24 October 2018

Recent rain across eastern Australia has sparked optimism in the cattle market, with price gains observed across almost all major indicators. Over-the-hook (OTH) indicators also benefited, particularly in Queensland where most categories rose between 6¢/kg and 17¢/kg carcase weight (cwt).

Unlike store cattle prices, which are beginning to recover following a difficult season, OTH indicators actually strengthened during the past year. Strong prices at the finished end of the market are a positive sign for the industry, as they reflect growing international demand for high-quality Australian beef. Rising OTH indicators also hint at the potential upside for the store market given improved seasonal conditions.

Queensland

In Queensland, home to the largest share of the national beef herd, OTH indicators saw the strongest gains this week.

Trade steers and heifers both rose 17¢ this week, to 523¢/kg cwt and 518¢/kg cwt respectively. Heavy steers rose 15¢, to 529¢/kg cwt. The Queensland 100-day grainfed steer indicator rose 6¢, to 554¢/kg cwt, up 53¢ year-on-year. Unlike the southern states, medium cows were met with strong demand as prices rose 10¢ to 430¢/kg cwt.

NSW

In NSW, price movements over the past week were far more subdued than in Queensland, with all indicators either unchanged or rising 1–2¢/kg cwt.

Trade steers and heifers rose 1¢ to 505¢/kg cwt and 498¢/kg cwt respectively. Heavy steers remained unchanged, at 510¢/kg cwt. Medium cows rose 2¢, to 395¢/kg cwt.

Victoria

Much like NSW, prices in Victoria were relatively stable this week. Cow prices remained depressed when compared to NSW and QLD, with the poor season contributing to heightened supply in the south.

Trade steers and heifers were flat this week, at 518¢/kg cwt and 497¢/kg cwt respectively. Heavy steers were also unchanged, at 503¢/kg cwt. The medium cow indicator rose 2¢ to 364¢/kg cwt.

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