While the lamb market finished the final week of winter on a stronger note, assisted by rejuvenated restocker buying, the cattle market slipped lower on the back of some large yardings, as the EYCI finished Thursday at 317.50¢/kg cwt. Nationally, trade lambs finished the week 20¢ higher, at 451¢/kg cwt, while restocker lambs kicked 48¢, to 400¢/kg cwt.
Emphasizing the mixed seasonal conditions through the eastern states, the dry finish to winter for parts of central NSW, combined with the poor season for western regions of the state, resulted in a very large offering of cattle in Dubbo this week. The reported 6,050 head yarded on Thursday was the second largest prime sale reported at this venue by MLA’s National Livestock Reporting Service, since 1996. Large cattle yardings this week were also registered at Dalby (5,200 head) and Roma (8,200 head) – as poor seasonal conditions continue to bite across Queensland.
This week also saw the A$ back below 90US¢, while at the same time exporters continue to be supplied with ample production. Maintaining the trend seen throughout 2013, the increased cattle turnoff and processing rates continue to be reflected in export volumes, with beef exports for August estimated to be 10-15% above the corresponding month in 2012 – the eleventh consecutive monthly yearon-year increase. Lamb exports appear to have slowed slightly throughout August, after setting a record pace during the first half of the year, illustrating the seasonal decline in throughput in late winter.
While the most recent three month rainfall outlook continues to provide a positive outlook for southern producers, it provides a neutral outlook for northern Australia for September to November.