Weekly kill: Some Qld grids shed another 10c/kg

Jon Condon, 24/10/2023

AFTER stabilising a little over the previous fortnight, direct consignment grid offers from some large operators in Queensland have lost another 10c/kg this week, in the face of heavy cattle supply in the run through to Christmas plant closures.

Others who lowered their over-the-hooks offers earlier are unchanged this week.

Many processors are now heavily booked with slaughter cattle until deep into November with a price attached, and rapidly filling with unpriced space-only slots through to Christmas closures.

Reflecting the increasing tightening in stock water and feed resources across large parts of eastern Australia as drought conditions intensify, weekly national slaughter last week reached 139,933 head, the highest seven-day figure recorded since May 2020.

Slaughter lifted in all states except Victoria and Tasmania, with Queensland reporting an especially strong 25pc increase from this time last year to 68,880 head, alongside a 22pc increase in NSW to 34,038 head.

The public holiday the previous week in both states may have added some extra momentum to last week’s processing operations.

With eight weeks’ operations remaining for many processors in their 2023 seasons, some are now warning producers about leaving sale decisions too late, if kills are deemed necessary within this year, due to seasonal or animal welfare pressures.

January/February kills still look a long way off for areas where cattle are now under serious seasonal challenge. Some plants are taking space bookings for January kills, but were unlikely to offer a price until the new year, several operators indicated.

Slaughter cows 355-360c/kg

Direct consignment grids in Southern Queensland this week are sitting at 355-360c/kg on heavy cows and four-tooth grass heavy steer with an implant anywhere from 415-440c (some sheds offering 10c more for no HGP).

To put current prices into context, this time last year the same plants were offering 690c/kg on heavy cows and 740-755c/kg on four-tooth ox.  Rain had some impact on the market at the time.

Some Queensland operators are again not offering quotes at all this week, happy with their current bookings through to Christmas closure. Central Queensland operators this week remain on the same rates as processors in southern parts of the state, or 10c behind.

Processor grids further south are also largely unchanged this week, while others have withdrawn quotes signifying they are already-well covered. Southern NSW has offers around 405c on four-tooth ox and in eastern parts of South Australia, 370c/kg top cell on cows and grass four-tooth ox 425c.

Saleyards trends

Less than 3000 head were yarded at Roma store sale this morning. Early reports indicated light cows were selling from 100-150c/kg while heavier score 3 and 4 types made 166-180c, both cheaper than last week. Heavier grown steers made 214c and bullocks to 234c.

Gunnedah this morning yarded 2360, up about 500 on last week, with large supplies of young cattle and cows brought forward because of feed and water concerns. Restricted processor competition saw well-finished heavy grown steers sell to a cheaper trend. Plain cows were slightly cheaper while the better-finished heavier weights were firm to slightly dearer.

Wodonga sale yarded only 1000 head this morning, with both cows and heavy steers trending higher in value. Heavy steers lifted 20c/kg to average 231c/kg (equivalent of about 405c/kg carcase weight), while bullocks edged 5c higher, and cows 20c dearer to average 198c/kg.

Warwick sale this morning offered less than 1000 head, with young bullocks to processors making around 230c and good heavy cows averaging 171c, while light cows made 70-156c.






Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your comment will not appear until it has been moderated.
Contributions that contravene our Comments Policy will not be published.


  1. GRAEME, 25/10/2023

    Storms have started around the lower gulf ,should get better ?

  2. Paul Franks, 24/10/2023

    To put things into perspective I saw an old weight sheet from 2001.

    The steer carcass price there were $3.10/kg. Going to the RBA inflation calculator that only goes to 2022 that from inflation alone is equivalent to $5.29 as of 2022.

    Same steers this week are worth $4.20. MLA also seems deathly silent on these prices.

Get Beef Central's news headlines emailed to you -