NO surprise that beef kills across Eastern Australia were well back again last week, as the sequence of four holiday-shortened working weeks impacts on work rosters at all meatworks across the country.
There was no Eastern States weekly slaughter report available from NLRS by the time this item was published due to technical problems, but we managed to establish that Queensland’s kill for the seven days ended Saturday reached just 48,900 head – down another 10.4pc or 5700 head from an already low kill the week before.
New South Wales was even more affected, back almost 5000 head or 17pc to 23,770 head, while Victoria’s weekly tally was back 15pc or 3000 head to 16,175. Rain had impacted the two weeks production prior to Easter in both states.
This week and next week will be similarly impacted, with the Easter Monday holiday and ANZAC Day next Tuesday serving to again apply the handbrakes on beef processing activity across the east coast.
For many processors it won’t be until the week commencing 1 May that full five-day rosters return, and even that week, processors in some states have a May Day holiday.
The slow-down in processing has put a stop to any grid price rises seen a fortnight ago, with southern Queensland and northern NSW processors all holding current grid offers at current levels.
Livestock buyer contacts said the next two to three weeks were now reasonably well catered for for slaughter bookings, with a modest flow of cattle coming forward as conditions continue to cool off.
June, July and August still shape up as being particularly difficult for slaughter procurement, and some plant closures still look on the cards during the winter period.
Best current week processor offers in Queensland on four-tooth grassfed heavy steer and heavy full-mouth cows remain at 530c/kg and 475c/kg, respectively, with forward 100-day grainfed money for July delivery now to 560c, back 10c on rates prior to Easter, and spot price grain 545c.
Queensland grids continue to exhibit a fairly wide spread, however, perhaps reflecting individual processors’ current supply positions. Depending on location, other offers in SEQ on four-tooth grassfed ox this week range from 520-490c, and 465-450c/kg on heavy cows.
Rates seen from one northern NSW processor had offers for kills week commencing 23 April for four-tooth grassfed heavy steer 500c, and full-mouth cows 470c.
Not surprising with people in holiday mode, or planting oats after earlier rain, there was a drop of around 4000 head in numbers offered at Roma store sale yesterday, back 35pc from the week before.
- We’ll add the full NLRS weekly slaughter data to this item later today, when it arrives.