The Eastern Young Cattle Indicator has officially cracked the 500¢ mark for the first time in history, reaching 501.25¢/kg yesterday afternoon, with buyers stimulated to bid higher at eastern states selling centres for tighter supplies after widespread rain, especially in western parts of NSW and Queensland.
The figure is easily the highest recorded since the EYCI calculation began in 1996.
The milestone was foreshadowed in Beef Central’s report published yesterday morning (click here to view) after two rapid rises in value since Monday.
With rain in prospect (in some cases, already falling) this week, many producers exhibited a desire to hold on to stock if possible, with a significant decline in the number of eligible cattle included in the EYCI calculation this week. The number was back to the long term-average of around 17,000 head, about 5000 fewer than a month ago.
This, combined with a slight slowdown in eastern states indicative cattle slaughter, may mark the start of the very long-awaited contraction in cattle numbers entering the market, which should continue to support prices.
While the recent rainfall is only the beginning of what will be required to take many drought stricken areas out of such conditions, it is a good start, and has boosted buyer confidence, Meat & Livestock Australia said.
The markets where EYCI eligible cattle lifted the most this week included Roma, up 36¢, averaging 495¢/kg, CTLX Carcoar, up 20¢ to 547¢/kg, Dalby, up 34¢, to 474¢/kg, while Tamworth and Wagga averaged 493¢, and 532¢/kg respectively.
More details on this week’s rain impact tomorrow.