Showers revive restocker activity

09 March 2017

Widespread showers across northern NSW and Queensland this week rejuvenated restocker activity at the major selling centres in those regions.

While the market remains extremely high and in the realms of record territory, young cattle prices had been on a general easing trend since peaking in October last year, on the back of a generally very hot and dry summer.

Nationally, the restocking yearling steer indicator, as at 7 March, was 357¢/kg lwt, up from 15¢ the week before.

  • NSW restocker yearlings were 342¢/kg lwt, up 2¢
  • Queensland was up 20¢, at 361¢/kg lwt

Where little rainfall fell across Victoria, the market maintained downward trajectory and eased a further 20¢/kg lwt this week.

Looking forward, while some northern NSW and Queensland markets have rejuvenated, the latest three-month rainfall outlook doesn’t paint a promising picture for the likelihood of further follow up rainfall. This in turn may mean the restocking strength will be short lived, despite stocking rates still being at very low levels.

At the finished end of the market, the over-the-hook (OTH) indicators for Queensland all eased again this week, continuing what has also been a general downward trend since peaking in October last year. Again, while these indicators are also at very high levels still, when global markets and the A$ are taken into account, the prospect of them returning to the recent highs seem unlikely – especially if the poor three-month rainfall outlook comes to fruition.

Nevertheless, while this may appear a doubtful outlook on cattle market trends, the short cattle supply situation will continue to act as a floor in the market for the remainder of 2017 and well into 2018, meaning the old familiar 200¢/kg lwt price is unlikely to return.

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