Saleyard prices and direct to works quotes have kicked higher in the past two days on the back of heavy rain and subsequent limitations in supply.
MLA’s National Livestock Reporting Service said flooding in northern NSW and forecasts of further falls across southern Queensland had placed a significant squeeze on cattle availability.
Offerings at the Roma store sale yesterday fell to 2212, a 65pc reduction on the 6350 yarded last week.
The NLRS reported that southern processors were extremely active on light, young heifers, with vealer heifer prices rising 6c, to average 218c/kg lwt.
Light, yearling steers declined 4c, while feeder demand pushed light yearling heifer prices up by 10c to average 219c/kg lwt.
The report also noted that the rain did not only restrict the ability of vendors to consign cattle to the sale, it also meant that the usual number of restocker buyers were unable to reach the sale.
A similar trend was evident at Warwick where prices were up across almost all categories – albeit with the total yarding of 1200 head almost unchanged on last week.
Heavy steers and bullocks to export slaughter gained 6-10c, while medium cows continued to be in strong demand, jumping 14c, to average 177c/kg lwt.
With flooding disrupting northern NSW markets, only 700 head were offered at Gunnedah – down from over 2600 head last week.
The market for young cattle was varied, with light weight yearling steers to restockers and feeders largely steady.
Medium weight steers to feeders were also largely steady, although the odd sale was cheaper due to the restricted competition, as buyers’ struggled get through flood waters. Numbers were also back at Inverell this week, with yearlings continuing to make up the majority of the offering.
The benchmark Eastern Young Cattle Indicator closed yesterday at 403.5¢/kg cwt, up 2.25¢ for the day and 4.5c for the past week.
MLA reported that many processors had also lifted rates considerably this week in response to the tighter supplies in the hope of attracting increased numbers.
Average direct to works prices for southern Queensland processors increased 10-15c on last week, with heavy 0-2 tooth steers (300-420kg cwt), averaging 365c/kg cwt.
MLA said numbers were expected to remain very tight across the remaining southern Queensland and northern and central NSW markets this week, particularly with forecasts for more rain.
“Indeed, while producers may get another wet start to summer, assisting rebuilding intentions, processors and exporters may again face a scramble for suitable cattle into the final few weeks of the year.”
Click here to view detailed NLRS reports from major cattle selling centres in each State
Details from Roma store sale press report:
Golden Pastoral Holdings, Nullin, Yuleba, sold Charolais-cross steers to 240c for 271kg to return $650/head. They also sold Angus-cross heifers to 223c for 288kg to make $644.
Currawilla Pastoral Co, Windorah, sold Droughtmaster-cross steers to 237c for 277kg to return $657. They also sold Droughtmaster-cross heifers to 225c for 236c for 236kg to make $531.
The Bain family, Mt Eden, Roma, sold Angus-cross steers to 236c and averaged 225c for 285kg to return $641. They also sold Charolais-cross heifers to 216c for 263kg to make $570.
The Aldridge family, Combabula, Yuleba, sold Droughtmaster-cross steers to 232c for 277kg to return $643. They also sold Angus-cross heifers to 210c for 269kg to make $565.
Clinton Melcer, Myo, Injune, sold Charolais-cross steers to 228c for 313kg to return $715. They also sold Charolais-cross heifers to 215c for 296kg to make $638.
The Baker family, Northam, Wyandra, sold Santa steers to 224c and averaged 220c for 336kg to return $740.
Cluden Park Pastoral Co, Cluden Park, Taroom, sold Santa-cross steers to 222c for 324kg to make $720.
Gwenbrook Farms, Roma, sold Santa-cross steers to 216c for 462kg to return $999.
The McLoughlin family, Leeorna Downs, Injune, sold Brahman steers to 200c for 354kg to make $709.
Heifers in the 350-450kg range reached 197c and averaged 168c (-4).
Heifers in the 280-350kg range topped at 223c/kg and averaged 189c/kg (+4).
Heifers in the 220-280kg range topped at 234c/kg and averaged 205c/kg (+5), while heifers under 220kg topped at 226c/kg and averaged 208c/kg (-3).
The Nichol family, Sutton Veney, Roma, sold Angus heifers to 226c for 278kg to return $630.
The Nichols family, Ridgewell, Roma, sold Angus-cross heifers to 224c and averaged 222c for 267kg to make $594.
The Mason family, Teeswater, Mitchell, sold Brahman-cross heifers to 190c for 460kg to return $874.
Graham Swan, Lyndale, Wallumbilla, sold Droughtmaster heifers to 186c for 495kg to make $921.
Cows over 500kg hit 179c and averaged 169c (+7), while cows 400-500kg topped at 177c and averaged 157c (+7). Cows in the 300-400kg range made 158c and averaged 130c (U/C).
The Scott family sold Brahman cows to 177c and averaged 171c for 517kg to return $883.
Cows and Calves sold to $970/unit and averaged $848.
Bulls up to 400kg reached 194c to average 175c (+5).