Weekly kill: Some grids under pressure as A$ rise bites

Jon Condon, 08/03/2016

WITH the Aussie dollar soaring well above US74c this past week , there’s been some big corrections evident in some, but not all Queensland processor grids since Friday.

One large multi-site processor has jagged-back its Queensland grid offers by a startling 20c/kg in two instalments since Friday, in response to the currency movement and an international meat market it described this morning as ‘just dead in the water’ at present.

Other SEQ processors do not appear to have yet followed suit. But the adjustment may well be picked up in regular margin calls tomorrow, or Friday, Beef Central understands. Another large SEQ processor has stopped quoting on pre-Easter kills, partly because it is taking some extra time off to install a couple of new Cryovac machines just before Easter. Estimated price? About a half a million each.

What it’s meant is that there’s some big spreads in SEQ direct consignment pricing at present, although that could change overnight.

Quotes gathered this morning show grassfed four-tooth heavy ox at anywhere from 500c to 520c; milk-tooth 505-525c; best cow anywhere from 455c to 475c; EU steer 530-550c.

The same company that’s pulled its Queensland grids back 20c/kg in two steps has dropped its southern Australian grids by 10c/kg, meaning competitive southern processor offers are now roughly minus-to-plus 10c better or worse than those in Qld. Cow grids for NSW plants seen today are around 450-460c, with grassfed steer 510-520 in some offers.

The National Livestock Reporting Service logged a small rise in weekly five state kill for last week, reporting a year-high tally of 140,208 head – up 1.2pc on the previous week. Some processors report cattle have been a little easier to come by in the past week or so, but many sheds remain on reduced shift throughput, reduced days, or both.

Queensland’s kill last week rose 5pc to 66,592 head – still back 15pc on this time last year.

NSW was -1pc at 32,853 head (-21pc year-on-year) while Victoria’s kill fell 2pc to 27,878 head (15pc decline on 2015’s numbers). In South Australia the kill ease 6pc to 8133 head, (4pc behind last year) while Tassie saw a 1pc fall to 4752 head, also 4pc behind year-earlier performance.




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