QLD cattle kill slows, prices lift

01 September 2015

Adult cattle slaughter in Queensland continued to slow last week, with 85,000 head processed across the state – back 1% week-on-week and 1% below year-ago levels. However, the weekly kill still has some way to contract before returning to more normal levels, with the five-year August average closer to 74,000 head.

Slaughter was tempered by some rain across the south-east of the state but, more generally, finished cattle are continually becoming harder to source, particularly south of the border.

Subsequently, the over-the-hook price indicators lifted. In Queensland:

  • Trade steers (240-260kg cwt, A-C) improved 12¢, averaging 512¢/kg cwt
  • MSA trade steers (240-260kg cwt, A-C) increased 2¢, to average 551¢/kg cwt
  • Heavy steers (300-400kg cwt, A-C) improved 13¢, averaging 519¢/kg cwt
  • Medium cows (260-280kg cwt, A-E) gained 9¢, to average 474¢/kg cwt
  • 100-day grainfed steers (300-320kg cwt, A-C) climbed 4¢, averaging 540¢/kg cwt

Direct-to-works prices were resilient throughout the eastern states despite Australia’s impending full utilisation of the US tariff free import quota.

Most of the southern states also recorded a contraction in slaughter:

  • NSW processed nearly 33,000 head, back 1% week-on-week and 17% below year-ago levels
  • Victoria killed just over 24,000 head, back 2% on last week and back 22% year-on-year
  • Cattle slaughter in Tasmania declined 6% on last week and was 3% below year-ago levels, at almost 4,000 head
  • SA defied the trend, processing just over 10,000 head, up 6% week-on-week and 21% above year-ago levels

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