The recent rainfall through some drought declared regions in Queensland and northern NSW has seen a strong resurgence in the Eastern Young Cattle Indicator over the past week, primarily driven by the reduction in supply at saleyards.
Although restockers are purchasing cattle at markets, demand has yet to outweigh supply, and with the Easter weekend approaching, numbers could remain low, giving some price relief for producers over the coming weeks.
At the conclusion of Thursday's markets, the EYCI reached 344.75¢/kg cwt which is a level not seen since November 19, 2012. The EYCI's current level represents a 60c/kg recovery, representing a 21 percent rise, sicne its recent low-point on January 21 (284.75c/kg).
The trend for the EYCI generally tracks downward during autumn as weaner sales increase and turnoff is high, however this year could see a continual restriction on supply, assisting prices in tracking above those experienced over the past 12-18 months.
Historically prices improve through winter, which could be accentuated by the after-effects of continual record high slaughter as finished cattle become hard to source and producers look to take advantage of the shortfall in throughput. This price movement in the saleyards could also see direct-to-works rates increase.
Source: Meat & Livestock Australia