Rain delivered some upside to the cattle market, but will it last?

14 February 2018

The cattle market stabilised and managed to gain some ground last week, despite increased saleyard throughput across the eastern states. However, last week’s rain in parts of Queensland appears to have been short-lived, with very hot and dry weather forecast for the state this week.

Queensland

Despite some good rain across Queensland last week, this did little to deter cattle numbers at most selling centres in the state. Saleyard throughput for all other eastern states increased quite considerably from the previous week, but good quality offerings at most major centres bolstered buyer competition and supported prices.

There was a slight upside for the Eastern Young Cattle Indicator (EYCI) during the week. The indicator opened at 538.25¢/kg cwt, reached a peak of 540.75¢/kg cwt on Wednesday, before pulling back to finish the week on 539¢/kg cwt – up just 0.75¢/kg cwt from the previous week.

The yarding at Roma Store was smaller than the previous week and it was a stronger market, buoyed by the recent rainfall. Numbers at Dalby increased, but robust buyer competition also resulted in dearer trends. EYCI eligible cattle at Roma Store averaged 567.75¢/kg cwt (up 11.5¢ week-on-week) while Dalby averaged 539.4¢/kg cwt (up 2.3¢ week-on-week).

NSW

NSW cattle saleyard indicators recovered somewhat last week, with a generally good quality selection of young cattle at most major selling centres. Consignments at Dubbo increased, with large numbers of young cattle presented in good condition. It was a similar story at CTLX Carcoar, with supplies lifting (particularly feeders) and stronger demand for a mostly good quality selection of yearlings resulting in dearer prices. Numbers were similar week-on-week at Scone and prime conditioned young cattle sold to strong demand. EYCI eligible cattle at Dubbo averaged 513.5¢/kg cwt (down 19¢), while equivalent lines at CTLX Carcoar were up 5.8¢ and averaged 526¢/kg cwt. Those at Scone averaged 606¢/kg cwt, down 7¢/kg cwt.

Victoria

EYCI eligible cattle at NVLX Barnawartha averaged 516¢/kg cwt (up 2.4¢) with a very good selection of trade cattle on offer. Numbers increased at Shepparton, although a very mixed quality yarding saw EYCI eligible lines average 506¢/kg cwt – down 5.7¢/kg cwt from the previous week.

The week ahead

Hot and dry conditions forecast across most of eastern Australia over the coming days is likely to see stock turn-off increase and erode some of the gains made last week. Much of Queensland is forecast for a very hot and mostly dry week, with the possibility of storms in the southeast. Similarly, across NSW, the outlook is for a hot week with little rain, while much of Victoria has warm days on the way and some rain likely in southern parts of the state.

Keep an eye on prices at your local saleyard, or compare different saleyards in your area, using MLA’s interactive online tool.

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