Markets

Limited impact for EYCI in saleyard supply drop

Beef Central, 03/09/2012

Saleyard cattle prices were mainly cheaper last week, in a market that saw tighter supplies around the country.

National cattle yardings totalled 43,835 head, 10pc less than the previous week.

The trade steer indicator dropped 8c to 385c/kg cwt, with quality the main driver behind prices according to the National Livestock Reporting Service, while medium steers eased 2c to average 333c/kg cwt.

The reduction in heavy steer yardings across the eastern states was reflected in higher prices, with the heavy steer indicator strengthening 12c to average 351c/kg cwt, as processors competed to secure suitable cattle.

Medium weight cows followed a similar trend, lifting 9c to average 278c/kg cwt.

The feeder steer indicator was generally a reflection of the quality offered throughout saleyards, with prices easing 5c on average, to 201c/kg lwt.

The reduction in supply had limited influence on the Eastern Young Cattle Indicator (EYCI), which closed at 376.25c/kg cwt.

The NLRS said that while a slight decline in the A$ last week provided some welcome news for Australian exporters, its overall strength continues to be a major hindrance for trade, especially when compared against some more favourable currency shifts for rival exporting nations.

It added that the higher $A and continued weak export demand were behind an estimated 5-8pc drop in exports during August compared to the same period last year.

Export volumes were impacted by a drop in shipments to Japan, Korea and Russia and a comparatively tight supply of beef in late July and early August.

MLA also noted on Friday that after decreasing earlier in the year, over-the-hooks prices for yearling steers had stabilised during winter and were now tracking close to the five-year average.

A recent improvement in quality was potentially placing upward pressure on rates.

While prices were currently comparable with the same time last year, the sharp increase in rates that occurred throughout spring and summer 2011 would  be hard to match in 2012.

Yearling steer prices last week averaged 293c/kg in Queensland, 322c/kg in NSW, 343c/kg in Victoria and 330c/kg in South Australia.

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