Cattle market glacial slide continues

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Author: Adrian Ladaniwsky

A tiny lift in yardings and slaughter coming off in QLD both subdued prices, leading the market to continue it’s glacial creep lower. The Eastern States Young Cattle Indicator dipped marginally.

East coast yardings showed overall sluggish upward movement from the previous week, driven by NSW, and VIC lifting slightly, while QLD and SA drifted lower. A tentative 2% increase in numbers saw 57,339 cattle yarded for the week ending 10th July, which sits right on the five year average, and higher than the same time last year.

Slaughter numbers dropped lower (4%) on the week prior, mostly driven by a fall in QLD figures, with the other states largely drifting sideways A total of 122,068 cattle were processed, which is down 20% compared to the same time in 2019.

The Eastern Young Cattle Indicator (EYCI) drifted down 1% on the prior week, settling at 743¢/kg cwt. Medium Steers dove 5.8%, down 21.1¢ to settle at 343.1¢/kg lwt. The National Heavy Steer travelled sideways to 355¢/kg lwt. Similarly, the National Medium Cow price nudged downwards by 3.9¢ to 267¢/kg lwt.  Yearling steers lost ground across the board, with processors shedding 10¢, to 386¢/kg lwt, with restockers also losing 8.8¢ to 428¢/kg lwt and feeders dipping 7¢ to 390¢/kg lwt

The 90CL Frozen Cow price backed off slightly (Figure 2), down 1% to 684c/Kg, with the slide continuing on the back of US processor reopenings, supported by steady demand for cheap ground meat product and high prices for equivalent US mince.

The week ahead

With tight supply to continue through the rest of the winter season, and Meat & Livestock Australia forecasting fairly dismal slaughter figures through to the end of the year due to herd rebuilding activity. As such, export market drivers in Australia’s key markets like the US will have a more significant impact in the second half of the year than what we’ve seen so far.