Plenty of confidence in the market still

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Author: David Myers

While more records were broken in the West, with the Western Young Cattle Indicator (WYCI) reaching another all-time high, the Eastern States steadied and even reversed last week’s price drops in some categories. Restocker buying is still strong in NSW, with Restocker Yearling Steers showing strong price increases. The Eastern Young Cattle Indicator (EYCI) reversed last week’s fall by jumping back up 14¢ to settle at 891¢/kg cwt.

Yardings for the week ending 30rd of April 2021, dropped by 8% from the week prior – 46,937 head were yarded on the east coast. It was 5% higher than this time last year.

Slaughter numbers for the week ending 30th of April, 2021, were also down 8% on the week prior. 93,933 cattle were slaughtered on the east coast. This is also a 30% drop compared to this time last year. The biggest drop came from Queensland which slaughtered 44,280 last week compared to 53,472 cattle the previous week. NSW on the other hand saw an 11% lift, up from 26,225 to 29,004 last week.

Slaughter numbers overall are well below the five-year average, not surprising considering the good conditions across most of the east coast are encouraging farmers to hold on to stock. Queensland, normally the biggest supplier, had slaughter numbers nearly 40% below the five-year average for that state last week.  Low supply should continue to support prices to some degree.

On the west coast, the WYCI broke a new record, jumping nearly 60¢ from this time last week to settle at 1010¢/kg cwt, albeit only 822 head of cattle were sold. WA has received some solid rain recently (and it continues in some areas as we write), especially in the South West.

The national category indicators were mixed this week, with Restocker Steers reversing the trend of last week to post a 32¢/kg lwt lift to settle at 550¢/kg lwt. Heavy Steers also performed well lifting 20¢/kg lwt on this time last week to finish at 391¢/kg lwt. Medium Cow’s rose 1.5¢ on last week but the rest of the indicators fell between 0.5-3¢ cents. Restocker prices were boosted by NSW, which saw their Restocker Yearling Steer price jump 109¢/kg lwt on last week to settle at 585¢/kg lwt. The lift in the national Heavy Steer price, came mainly from Queensland which saw the states Heavy Steer price rise 40¢ on last week to finish this week at 394¢/kg lwt. Despite some falls, all categories are still well up on this time last year still, between 32 – 135 cents.

The Aussie dollar jumped up 0.8% to finish the week at 0.778USD, a 19% increase on this time last year. The 90CL frozen cow price fell by 5¢ AUD (-0.8%), to 697¢/kg AUD.  

The week in cattle
East coast cattle yardings
East coast cattle slaughter

The week ahead

The BOM is forecasting a relatively dry week next week for most of Eastern and Southern Australia, with only 0 – 10ml predicted for the next 8 days, except for parts of the Eastern coastline which might receive up to 25mm in some locations. The rain has certainly buoyed market confidence in WA, whether prices can hold at these record levels over there is another question.