Processing

Weekly kill: Southern states show lift in numbers, despite earlier rain

Jon Condon, 23/09/2013

 

Widespread rain across large areas of southern Australia the previous week failed to put a dent in larger kills in most southern states for the seven-day cycle ended Friday.

The National Livestock Reporting Service logged an Eastern States weekly kill of 153,992 head last week, a rise of 1 percent over the previous week.

Victoria was the only state to report a decline, back 2pc to 24,555 head for the week, impacted to a modest degree by cattle access due to rain. All other states moved in the opposite direction, however.

The NSW kill rose 1pc to 37,109 head, the state’s largest tally since pre-winter, with the female portion hovering dangerously high, at above 45pc.

Queensland was moderately higher at 79,365 head, a rise of 1pc over the previous week.

South Australia recorded a strong 7pc rise to 9008 head for the week, as spring cattle supply started to grow, while Tasmania was also well up at 3955 head, up 5pc on the previous seven-day cycle.

A little more tightness in supply in southern states due to rain saw some rises evident in southern states processor grid prices, up 5-10c/kg in places, and again drawing close to grid price offers in Queensland.

A week earlier, southern grids were starting to fall behind Queensland rates, as normal seasonal cycles started to take shape. Some processors thought it might take a couple of weeks in the south for emerging spring supply to get back to normal.

The recent stability in southern Queensland grid pricing continues this week, with no significant change reported by the big three processors. The only exception was grassfed EU steers, which rose 5-10c in places as well finished younger EU-eligible cattle become harder to come by in Queensland and northern NSW.

Most Queensland processors appeared fairly satisfied with cattle supply on their books over the next couple of weeks, drawn mostly from the Darling Downs, western and central Queensland cattle. Oats-finished cattle continue to come forward, but are beginning to run their seasonal course, and may start to decline in coming weeks.  

Grid prices across southern Queensland this week showed a best of 320c/kg for four-tooth grassfed ox, 325c for 0-2 tooth, and 270-280c/kg for best cow.

That’s still the best cow money we’ve seen since the drought-impacted price decline started back in March, as room starts to again open-up in kills after coming under earlier heavy supply pressure.

While cattle supply and beef demand will continue to impact most on slaughter cattle pricing, an underlying concern is recent resurgence in the value of the A$, which pushed well above US95c for a period yesterday. That’s up almost US6c on where it sat just a fortnight ago, and if it persists, could start to impact pricing decisions.

Weekly kills will inevitably show a decline the week after next, as the Labour Day holiday on Monday October 7 reduces kills to four days at some sites, in those states where the holiday is observed.

 

 

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