MLA News: Saleyard cow prices converge with direct rates

Beef Central, 09/08/2013

Saleyard and direct-to-works heavy cow (320+kg) prices have converged in recent weeks, as good quality heavy cow numbers start to decline across the eastern states markets.

The average price differential since January has been 15c/kg cwt in NSW and 17c/kg cwt in Queensland, although the difference did reach a high of 38c in NSW and 34c in Queensland, as the influx of large numbers of plain conditioned cows through May pushed saleyard prices down significantly, compared to Over-The-Hooks (OTH) prices.

During May a large wave of both plain conditioned weaners and cows were offloaded, as the peak turnoff periods for northern and southern producers combined, after a hot and dry spring, summer and autumn.

Through July however, the price differential for heavy cows has tightened, with average saleyard prices 8c/kg higher than OTH rates in NSW, while in Queensland, average heavy cow prices at saleyards are back marginally (5c/kg cwt) from average OTH rates. The convergence has predominately been due to the shortened supply of quality heavy weight lines, which isn’t uncommon for this time of year, as most cattle are in winter condition.

Conversely, heavy cow price differentials in the southern states has been mixed over the past seven months, with supply issues and poor growing conditions at the start of the year affecting price variances.

The average saleyard price in SA was 8c/kg less, while interestingly, Victorian saleyards have averaged 17c/kg above OTH rates since January. 

Heavy cow saleyard prices in SA were back 24c/kg compared to direct-to-works rates in May, although July saw prices surpass OTH rates, and finish July 22c/kg cwt higher. In Victoria heavy cows have been well sought after throughout most markets since January with average heavy cow prices averaging 34c/kg higher than direct-to-works rates.

Source: MLA 


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