Understanding the Eastern Young Cattle Indicator

24 October 2018

The Eastern Young Cattle Indicator (EYCI) is a seven-day rolling average of young cattle from 25 saleyards across Queensland, NSW and Victoria. It’s expressed in cents per kilogram carcase (or dressed) weight (¢/kg cwt) and is rounded to the nearest ¼ cent. The EYCI is produced by Meat & Livestock Australia’s National Livestock Reporting Service (NLRS).

The EYCI includes vealer and yearling heifers and steers, grade score C2 or C3, with live weight from 200kg. The EYCI is designed to be applicable to a wide range of beef industry participants, and describes general movements in cattle market prices in much the same way that the All Ordinaries share index describes general price movements in the stock market.

The EYCI is generally a good indicator of the physical market, with movements in the EYCI closely reflecting movements in many cattle prices.

It is important to note that movements in prices in individual saleyards and for individual young cattle categories are likely to be much more volatile than the EYCI, while still subject to the same underlying price trends.

Movements in the EYCI also closely reflect movements in young cattle prices in states outside the EYCI. This is to be expected, as many major Australian and global factors influencing beef demand and supply impact across all states. In addition, interstate trading opportunities and movements of cattle and beef also prevent young cattle prices from moving too far from those in neighbouring states.

Price movements in WA and Tasmania follow the general trends of the EYCI, due to the influences described above. However, these states show evidence of other price trends, related to distance from major markets, focus on other trades such as live export, or local buyer factors (e.g. meat works closures or openings) and regional weather influences. MLA’s NLRS also generate a young cattle indictor for WA.

Click here to download a brochure with further information on the EYCI.

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