National cattle yardings increased across Australia last week despite widespread rain activity which delivered falls in excess of 50mm to parts of eastern Australia and southern Western Australia.
Queensland recorded the largest increase in numbers, with a 10,000 head Roma store sale yarding, the largest of the year to date, and a 6000 head Dalby sale lifting overall throughput for the state by 7300 head compared to the previous week to total 20,878.
Numbers in NSW were down by 1500 head on the previous week to 17,648. Victorian agents yarded 10,197 cattle, about 1300 more than the week before, while yardings in remaining states were largely similar to the previous week.
The overall lift in supply failed to dampen prices, with almost all indicators reported by MLA’s National Livestock Reporting Services posting a rise and consolidating the increases from the week before.
The Eastern Young Cattle Indicator increased 3.25c/kg cwt for the week, to finish Thursday at 381.75c/kg cwt.
The trade steer indicator lifted 4c to 382¢/kg cwt, while heavy steers finished stronger on 348c/kg cwt.
The medium cow indicator averages 284c/kg cwt for the week, up 4c, while feeder steers jumped up 3c on the back of stronger demand, to 205c/kg lwt.
The only indicator to register a decline was for medium steers, back 2c to settle on 334c/kg cwt.
The NLRS reported that feeder, restocker and processors buyers all contested strongly to secure the better quality cattle, partly reflecting an inability to secure cattle during the recent wet weeks.
“Quality continues to be predominantly plain and unfinished in the south, despite pockets of supplementary and crop finished lines,” the NLRS' Friday market report stated.
“While the north continues to deliver some outstanding lines of cattle, quality has started to slip, especially across cooler regions.”
The NLRS attributed the 6800 head week-on-week increase in the Roma store sale last week to the disrupted trading conditions of the previous weeks, as unseasonable rain constrained the ability to move stock across many regions.
"While a break in the damp conditions enabled producers to get cattle to the market, further forecasts for heavy rain late in the week may have also influenced producer decisions to offload cattle," it said.
Despite the increased supply, demand was strong throughout the sale, as processors, restockers and feeders all reportedly secured large lines of cattle.
Light yearling steers to restockers ranged from 190c to 232c to average 219c, while medium weights to feeders eased 8c on 196c/kg.
Light yearling heifers to restock lifted 12c to make 191c while the D2 lines to feed eased 7c to settle on 181c/kg. Medium D3s to process ranged from 134¢ to 185c/kg. Heavy grown steers remained firm on 178c, with the grown heifer portion averaging 155c/kg. Medium D4 cows saw increased demand to settle on 155c/kg.