Storms stabilise over-the-hook indicators

21 March 2017

Widespread rainfall and storms along the eastern coastline this week, some of which extended inland, wasn’t enough to lift over-the-hooks cattle indicators as it did during January and into February, with quotes in Queensland and NSW remaining mostly steady.

In Queensland, which is now more than 85% drought declared – a driving factor in the turnoff of cattle, the over-the-hook indicator for heavy weight yearling steers has eased 55¢/kg cwt from where it peaked in February 2017. However, the patchy rainfall during the last week has seen direct-to-works indicators stabilise somewhat. This week, heavy weight yearling steers averaged 506¢/kg cwt, back 1¢ from last week.

Similarly, NSW indicators remained steady week-on-week, following widespread rain in northern regions and into the Central West. Heavy yearling steers averaged 536¢/kg cwt.

In contrast, the Victorian heavy yearling steer over-the-hook indicator decreased by 7¢ week-on-week – the largest week-on-week decline for the indicator in 2017 so far – averaging 538¢/kg cwt, driven predominantly by ongoing dry conditions and seasonal availability of young cattle. Victorian yearling steers remain 18¢ below where the indicator peaked in February.

Looking forward, despite indications that herd rebuilding has begun, with female slaughter declining as a result of greater retention, the BOM outlook points to below-average conditions throughout autumn, which will continue to influence cattle availability.

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