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Cattle prices ease as yardings rise 17pc

by Beef Central, 02 April 2012

Higher supplies of cattle and mixed quality offerings resulted in a slight easing in cattle prices across the country last week, according to the National Livestock Reporting Service.

Cattle yardings increased by 17pc last week, reflecting both a dry week across the country and anticipation of interrupted sales over Easter.

Young cattle prices showed the largest falls, while export categories were firm.

The yearling steer indicator fell 8c on last week, settling at 207¢/kg lwt after numbers increased nationally.

Feeder steer prices were 1c lower on 205¢/kg lwt, as throughput almost doubled.

Restocker competition was strong and continued to underpin the Eastern Young Cattle Indicator, which was only 1.25¢ lower for the week on 394.25¢/kg cwt, despite the weaker trade and feeder demand.

Export categories were also cheaper, although prices fell by smaller margins, the NLRS said.

Heavy grown steer supplies lifted, resulting in prices averaging 6c lower on 185¢/kg lwt.

Medium weight cow supplies remained tight and this ensured competition was steady, with prices firm on 144¢/kg lwt.

Queensland was the main contributor to the weekly decline in prices, with heavy steers (500-600kg C4) back 8c on last week, to 335¢/kg cwt.

Nationally, cow prices recorded the smallest price decline, slipping 1c on last week, to average 297¢/kg cwt, with the national direct to works average steady on 287¢/kg cwt.

“With the next two weeks of sales and processing operations disrupted by the Easter holiday period, the next full operating week in mid-April will prove to be an interesting test for the strength of the market,” the NLRS said on Friday.

“Reflecting the impact of the A$ in recent months, its weakening to below 104US¢ in recent days will be welcomed by many exporters as a positive for trade.”

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