Markets

Saleyard indicators retreat as $A climbs

Beef Central, 13/08/2012

Most national saleyard price indicators closed lower last week as the Australian dollar continued to push higher and place further pressure on the price competitiveness of Australian product in export markets.

Agents yarded 48,911 cattle in saleyards reported by Meat & Livestock Australia’s National Livestock Reporting Service last week, slightly down on the 50,808 offered the week before.

MLA reported that demand from restockers and lot feeders was reduced, reflecting the ‘patchy’ nature of seasonal conditions, while several processors were also less active at saleyards due to maintenance breaks or fully-booked inventories.

Most national indicators were quoted as a lower for the week, with vealer steers down 13c to 389c/kg carcase weight; yearling steers 22c cheaper to 369c/kg, and cows 9c lower to 269c/kg.

The medium steer indicator closed 6c higher at 335c/kg and heavy steers were steady at 344c/kg.

The Eastern States Young Cattle Indicator closed 2.25c/kg lower for the week to 386c.

The Australian dollar was trading  at US 105.5c this morning, its highest level since March.

The NLRS also reported on Friday that cattle supplies to saleyards this winter have been 7pc higher than last year’s levels, which were low by historical standards due to wet conditions, flooding and the retention of stock after years of drought.

Yearling steers have contributed the largest proportion of cattle yarded, making up 23pc of the national saleyard throughput this winter, or 18pc above last year.

Cows accounted for 21pc, with the majority purchased by processors.

The NLRS said yearling steer offerings had lifted substantially during June and July, with the percentage of yearling steers purchased by feeders jumping by 25pc compared to the corresponding period last year.

In the final week of July the feeder steer indicator was 2c dearer year-on-year, at 203c/kg lwt.

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