Yardings dropped like a stone last week, plunging 16% with the reduction driven primarily by QLD, which pegged a 22% drop, followed by VIC, which fell 16%, while NSW followed the trend with a 10% decline. Overall, yardings fell by 6,974 head compared to the week prior, with 37,435 cattle yarded on the east coast for the week ending 11th December; which is 38% below last years figures.
Slaughter slackened off by 2%, with the reduction lead by QLD, which booked a 4% decline, followed by NSW, which backed off 5%. Overall, a total of 112,229 cattle were processed on the east coast for the week ending the 1th December; which is 32% off the pace of last year.
The EYCI built on the stability it achieved last week, to lock in a solid rise of 22¢ (3%) to reach 814¢/kg cwt. On the categories, restocker steers skyrocketed, building on strong gains made last week, and heavy steers mounted a solid recovery from a six week downward spiral.
Intense enthusiasm for restocker steers saw a massive 33¢ (7%) leap in prices to finish the week at 519¢/kg lwt. At present, Northern QLD is driving the buoyant prices for restocker steers, booking both the largest gains this week, and also trading at the highest levels in the country, at a 48¢ premium to NSW, and 152¢ above VIC pricing. Restocker steers have now gained 11% over the last fortnight.
Heavy steers pulled out of their losing streak, gaining 15¢(5%) this week to close the week at 351¢/kg lwt. Feeder and Processor steers tracked along in a fairly sideways manner, to respectively finish up at 416¢/kg lwt and 406¢/kg lwt.
Medium cows continued on their now seven week straight declining path, dropping another 7¢ (3%) to come to rest at 259¢/kg lwt. Interestingly this weeks fall in the national price appears to have been driven by WA, which records the lowest prices in the country, at 4% below the national indicator. This week, WA was the only state to record a fall in price, with VIC prices advancing 15¢.
The Aussie rose again against the greenback, pushing up another 1.2% to reach 0.762US. The rise was again lead by continued weakness in the US, as jobless claims data continue to tell a dire story, but this is tempered by encouraging signs that agreement on a renewed round of fiscal stimulus is becoming tantalisingly close.
Last week’s US 90CL frozen cow prices were steady in $US terms, but suffered from the rise in strength in the Aussie dollar, dropping 5¢ to last 642¢/kg swt. With another solid rise in the dollar seen this week, we can expect more weakness in 90CL unless we see a decent rise in underlying prices in the US.