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Increased northern throughput takes a toll

Picture1Surging weekly Queensland throughput and above average NSW throughput weighed on cattle prices in these regions dragging down the east coast figures this week with the Eastern Young Cattle Indicator (EYCI) dropping to levels not seen since the start of the season.

Figure 1 highlights the yarding pattern so far this year in Queensland with the large jump in throughput evident for this week compared to the 2016 trend and the five-year average pattern. The 19,246 head recorded a 57.8% increase on the average for this time of year. Queensland the only state to see price falls in all NLRS reported saleyard categories of cattle with QLD Feeder Steers leading the decline posting a 4% drop to 353¢/kg lwt.

Picture2NSW experiencing price declines in all NLRS saleyard categories, apart from Medium and Heavy Steers, with Trade Steers headlining with the biggest percentage decrease, down 6% to 332¢/kg lwt with elevated NSW throughput appearing to contributing to the price pressure – figure 2.

The EYCI dropping 3% on the week to close at 636.5¢/kg cwt despite beef export prices managing to hold onto the recent gains with the 90CL frozen cow tracking sideways to finish the session off at 585.5¢/kg CIF – figure 3. Softening US cattle futures creating some headwinds for the 90CL and providing a barrier to local cattle prices extending their gains achieved since the start of the season.

Picture3Register here for the MLA/Mecardo Cattle Market Webinar scheduled for the 16th February at 1pm AEST. Registered participants will be able to view a copy of the webinar at a time that suits them if unable to view it live.

The week ahead
While it is not uncommon to see weekly throughput in Queensland test toward the low 20,000 head vicinity during March/April the surge reported this week comes a little earlier than anticipated. Perhaps brought forward by the attractive price levels and the prospect of a drier than normal February – April period as forecast by the Bureau.
If you haven’t already done so, please consider signing up for the cattle market webinar we are running in conjunction with MLA on the 16th February – see link above for further details.