Widespread showers strengthen northern cattle markets in June

15 July 2016

Highlighted in MLA’s latest North of the Tropic Beef Report, ‘above average’ rainfall across most of Queensland in June saw cattle availability tighten, pushing some cattle indicators to their highest level so far this year, and others to their highest on record.

Rain fuelled confidence amongst restockers which saw market conditions strengthen for lighter categories particularly in June – with live export and processor buyer enthusiasm also stimulating demand for better conditioned types.

Compared to the month-prior, average weekly yardings across northern markets were mixed throughout June, with consignments lowering at CQLX Gracemere, increasing at Emeraldand remaining fairly similar at Charters Towers

In June, all indicator categories trended dearer month-on-month;

  • The north Queensland saleyard restocker steer indicator averaged 33¢ higher – at 325¢/kg lwt
  • The north Queensland saleyard medium cow indicator averaged  39¢ higher – at 236¢/kg lwt

In July, however, a large weaner sale at Emerald and increased yardings overall in the first week of the month have seen indicators ease across most categories, with total northern Queensland cattle saleyard throughput reaching a new high, at just over 11,200 head.

Average weekly cattle slaughter in North Queensland throughout June averaged 26% lower than the same time last year, at 19,416 head. Stronger processor activity in the physical market resulted in northern direct-to-work categories reaching their highest levels so far this year.

This week, compared to the same time last year;

  • The north Queensland over-the-hook heavy steer indicator averaged 544¢ – an increase of over 90¢/kg cwt.
  • The north Queensland over-the-hook medium cow indicator reached 473¢ – up 74¢/kg cwt.

Additionally, as indicated in the latest edition of LiveLink, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and Department of Agriculture and Water resources (DAWR) have reported a decline in live feeder and slaughter cattle exports for the January to June period, with shipments down 15% on the corresponding period last year, at 580,879 head.

To view the latest edition of the North of the Tropic Beef Report, please click here.

To view the latest edition of LiveLink, please click here.

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