Under sustained pressure, EYCI falls below 500c/kg

Jon Condon, 29/08/2023

THE Eastern Young Cattle Indicator has pushed below 500c/kg, carcase weight equivalent, for the first time since the tail-end of the drought in January, 2020.

Heavy turnoff of all cattle – young stock included – due to seasonal pressure across eastern Australia, and the prospect of more dry times ahead, has forced a sustained decline in young cattle prices through 2023.

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The EYCI (calculated as a seven-day rolling average of yearling and vealer steers and heifers sold through saleyards, see full explanation below) opened this morning at 497c/kg, but slipped to 494.67c early this afternoon. That’s down another 34c/kg over the past week, 63c down over the past month and 547c/kg down since this time last year.

Editor’s note: the EYCI is no longer a single daily figure, but is now live, and can be adjusted by NLRS during the day as new sales data is made available.

Yearling steers are now the largest contributor to the EYCI data, accounting for 6233 head over the past seven days, or 53pc of the total contribution of 11,837 head.

There have been reports of giveaway prices at some saleyards early this week, with good young Angus butchers steers 380kg liveweight making just 220c/kg at Warwick sale this morning.

A number of saleyards in southern states contributing to the EYCI data over the last seven days have seen average yearling and vealer prices between 416c/kg and 480c/kg, dressed weight equivalent.

Within sales over the past seven days, processors have accounted for just 2.75pc of EYCI-eligible stock, with lotfeeders 29.13pc and restockers 54.27pc.

Across saleyards activity last week, cattle prices (all descriptions, not just young cattle) generally eased, though feeder and processor-weight cattle fared better than restocker cattle, as has been the trend for 2023 so far.

The NLRS feeder steer indicator eased by another 4c over the week to 299c/kg liveweight, while the restocker steer indicator eased by 24c over the week to 282c/kg.

That means the feeder steer indicator sat at a 16c premium compared to the restocker steer indicator, the largest premium since January 2020.

What is the EYCI?

The Eastern Young Cattle Indicator (EYCI) is a seven-day rolling average of young cattle prices (vealer and yearling heifers and steers 200-400kg liveweight, scores C2 and C3) from 23 saleyards across Queensland, NSW and Victoria. It is expressed in c/kg carcase weight.

At any point in time, a seven-day rolling average includes data from the past seven calendar days. In the case of the EYCI, the dataset takes the average ¢/kg cwt of an animal matching the specifications of the indicator per day for the past week, adds them up and divides the figure by seven. The indicator is updated daily to create a rolling average value for this specification of animal.












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  1. GRAEME, 29/08/2023

    We want rain

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