THE Eastern Young Cattle Indicator is again threatening to crash through the magic 500c/kg barrier, hitting a new record high of 496.25c (carcase weight basis) yesterday.
As Beef Central’s home page “Industry Dashboard” graphs show, the EYCI reached a record high of 489.5c/kg back on May 21, before slipping away a little over the past three and a half weeks.
That trend changed dramatically again on Monday, when it leapt 7.75c to 486.75c on the previous week’s close, followed by another sharp 9.5c rise yesterday.
To put yesterday’s registration into context, it is up 16.25c on a week ago, and a massive 162.75c/kg higher than this time a year ago. On a typical 250kg (carcase weight) heavy yearling, that’s worth an additional $406 a head.
The big lift in the EYCI this week was underpinned by a surge in prices at Roma store sale yesterday (click here to view report), where EYCI-eligible* cattle lifted 36c, averaging 495c/kg, largely in response to rain forecast across southern Queensland in the week ahead.
Also contributing to the jump was a 20c increase at CTLX Carcoar, where EYCI cattle averaged 547c/kg. Strong prices continue to feature at Carcoar.
Speaking to Beef Central from Colombia, where he attending the Agri Benchmark international gathering of agricultural economists, MLA’s chief analyst Ben Thomas said numbers was part of the explanation.
This week has seen the volume of cattle included in the EYCI calculations* come back to the longer-term average of around 17,000 head – back more than 5000 head from where they sat a month ago.
“This is interesting because there was a short trading week for most states last week, which is usually followed by a rise in throughput the following week,” Mr Thomas said.
This, combined with the slightly lower indicative eastern states slaughter numbers (refer to Beef Central’s weekly kill report published yesterday), may indicate the start of the long-anticipated slowdown in cattle throughput.
* The Eastern Young Cattle Indicator (EYCI) is the general benchmark of Australian cattle prices. The indicator is a seven-day rolling average produced daily by MLA’s National Livestock Reporting Service. It includes vealer and yearling heifers and steers, grade score C2 or C3, 200kg+ liveweight from saleyards in NSW, QLD and VIC. The results include cattle purchased for slaughter, restocking or lotfeeding and are expressed in c/kg dressed weight.