Weekly kill: relentless weather continues driving cattle to market

Beef Central, 25/09/2018

Relentless very dry conditions across eastern Australia are continuing to underpin slaughter cattle supply across the regions, with processors in NSW and Queensland this week suggesting available numbers now look solid until well into October.

A common view is emerging that in the absence of any worthwhile October storms, another mini ‘liquidation’ of breeders could occur in Queensland cattle regions next month, as producers make some tough decisions on stock numbers heading into summer.

“Every week at the moment is weather-driven,” one processor contact said this morning.

Some big frosts across the Riverina region last week also pushed more cattle onto the market. Some earlier light rain and some green pick across the region got a huge setback with last week’s cold snap, with a dramatic rise seen in numbers yarded at Wagga yesterday in response.

Further north, saleyards yardings remain ‘significant,’ but numbers are becoming harder to accumulate as spring wears on.

Processor direct consignment grids from Queensland to Victoria have shown little or no change over the past week, after earlier rising 5-10c to restore ‘parity’ in response to more competitive saleyards markets, especially for cows.

Grids seen this morning for kills in southern Queensland have grassfed heavy steers four teeth at 510c/kg, and 440c on best cows, with Central Queensland offers 10c/kg less than that. In the south, reflecting the drought, Teys Wagga has YP grass steers this week on 525c and cows 430c, while Naracoorte has 510c and cows 430c, reflecting the better local conditions.

Other southern Queensland processor offers seen this morning ranged from 495-500c/kg for four-tooth steers, and 435-440c on heavy cows.

In northern NSW, Bindaree Beef has grid offers out for slaughter this week of 480c/kg on four-tooth grassfed heavy steer and 440c on heavy cows averaging 422c. In Victoria last week, heavy cows for direct consignment were averaging 410c and grown steers 515c

The five-state beef kill reported by NLRS was up two percent for the week ended Friday, at 145,725 head, a rise of 10pc on this week last year. All states except Tasmania recorded rises.

Queensland’s tally was up 2pc to 77,476 head, while NSW rose 2pc to 33,872 head. Victoria lifted 3pc to 25,100; South Australia increased 4pc to 4867 head; while Tasmania was unchanged at 4441 head for the week.

Next week’s Queensland kill will be impacted by the Queen’s birthday Monday holiday, while some plants in NSW and South Australia will skip a day for Labour Day.


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