Livestock market sentiment was again varied this week, with lambs and sheep cheaper across the board, while the majority of cattle categories increased.
The impact of rain and reduced lamb offerings through Victoria and SA was counteracted by over 100,000 head yarded again through NSW, while sheep
numbers were back in all three states. Nationally, trade lambs this week averaged 466¢/kg cwt, while the EYCI closed Thursday on 327.25¢/kg cwt.
With spring only three weeks away, further patchy falls across southern NSW, Victoria and SA continue to build anticipation from producers for favourable pasture growth once temperatures start to rise. Given the southern season continues along the most predictable path, with producers forecast to finally register a favourable spring, cattle and sheep supplies are expected to tighten.
In the north, while cattle offered through MLA’s NLRS reported markets contracted 27% this week, with both Dalby and Roma back considerably, Queensland
slaughter rates remain higher than in previous years – signalling the steady flow of cattle will continue.
In the wake of the all-time high beef exports in the previous month, the continuation of the A$ around the 90US¢ range should help to sustain export demand. As reflected by the indicative price for Australian 90CL beef to the US, prices in recent weeks in A$ terms have reached record highs, a combination of favourable US prices and the falling A$. Given the decline in the A$ throughout the past two months, the flow of beef through to the end of the year will be very interesting, especially if China maintains demand and manufacturing beef prices remain higher into the US.