Queensland outshines NSW

A good recovery staged by Queensland across the board, while NSW disappoints… no I’m not talking about the State of Origin – although the phrase fits there too! Actually, it’s the cattle market this week. Despite the national market indicators posting largely flat results, with weekly moves of less than 2% either way some state based indicators saw more substantial action.

The headline Eastern Young Cattle Indicator (EYCI) mirroring the national saleyard indicators with a minor retracement of 1.3% to close at 633.25¢/kg cwt, yardings of EYCI cattle up 22% on last week a potential reason for the softer prices. In contrast, young cattle price in WA recording an impressive 4.5% gain to close at 615¢/kg cwt and the key export indicator, the 90CL frozen cow relatively flat on the week, dropping just 1¢ to 646.8¢/kg CIF – figure 1.

Big winners in Queensland (other than the Cane toads) were Trade Steers, with a 13% lift to 336¢/kg lwt. The remaining QLD indicators up too (0.5-4.5% increases) with the exception of Medium Cows at 214¢/kg lwt, a fall of 1.6%. NSW saleyard indicators all softer this week, with falls ranging from 1-3%. NSW Medium Steers showing the biggest live weight percentage price drops, down 2.8% to 298¢/kg. A bit of a mixed bag for Victoria, with Feeder Steers down 3% to 325¢/kg lwt and Medium Steers up 5.7% to 315¢/kg.

Increased weekly throughput a potential reason for the broad price falls in NSW with yardings up 76% on last week and 29% above the long-term average for this time of year to see over 23,000 head change hands – figure 2. Perhaps the extended dry spell is starting to have an impact on supply and effecting the normal seasonal winter price rally. In case you missed it, Thursdays analysis piece on Mecardo takes a look at the potential impact of continued dry weather event and is worth a read.

The week ahead

The rainfall forecast for the week ahead showing some much-needed moisture to SA and lighter falls to the much of the South, but most of the decent stuff concentrated in the Tasman Sea. It is unlikely these falls are going to put a rocket up cattle prices this week but might be enough to continue to encourage consolidation at current levels. Although I’m Melbourne born maroon blood flows through my veins so eyes focused on the final State of Origin in just over a fortnight to see if the Toads can stage another upset.