And the waters prevailed on the earth… Gen 7:24

Forecast rain in the South-East corner of near biblical proportions for the week ahead keeps restocker interest high at the saleyard and young cattle prices across the country firm slightly in response.

Figure 1 highlights the anticipated rain event, with falls noted into the 200-300 mm level in Northern Victoria and falls of at least 50mm to much of Victoria and NSW. While its not great for many out there trying to complete this season’s harvest it’s a boost to backgrounders, with the high moisture and warm weather giving a lift to pasture growth in the coming weeks.

Indeed, spirits of restockers across the east coast have been encouraged and this has played out in restockers continuing to pay above average premiums at the saleyard for young cattle. The East coast restocker spread pattern showing that they are happy to pay over 6% more than the headline EYCI to secure stock – figure 2.

In an analysis piece released on Mecardo last month the main driver for the increased restocker spread was coming from Northern restockers. However, in recent weeks the Southern restocker premium has lifted too with premiums over the EYCI of 4-5% noted during November being paid, reflecting the growing optimism for a good Summer grazing potential as we head toward the end of the year.

The EYCI finished the week up 2.5¢ to 579.75¢ and the Western Young Cattle Indicator (WYCI) was also higher, lifting 13¢ to 585¢. This was despite the 90CL Frozen Cow easing slightly to close at 609¢/kg CIF – figure 3.

The week ahead

Its hard to see young cattle prices ease into the coming week with the amount of moisture that is forecast. Producers know its going to translate into decent pasture and they hate seeing grass going uneaten when they know cattle could be getting fat on it.

Make sure you stay safe out there this weekend and remember – don’t drive through flood waters. Oh, and spare a thought for the frantic lot trying to get as much harvested before the deluge.