After yet another week with rainfall limited to the coastal regions, and well above average daily maximum temperatures, the influence from the drought affected north continued to place pressure on cattle markets. The early spring confidence in southern Queensland and northern NSW has eroded quickly, with the need for more rain becoming urgent.
Reflecting the minimal restocker interest, the EYCI lost ground this week, to close Thursday’s markets on 308.75¢/kg cwt. Underpinned by the lack of finished cattle, nationally, the heavy steer indicator gained 11¢/kg cwt, finishing the week on 346¢/ kg cwt.
The southern cattle market eased slightly, with heavy steers in Victoria losing 3¢/kg cwt, to finish the week on 347¢/kg cwt, while in contrast, Queensland heavy steers gained 14¢/kg cwt, to finish Thursday on 329¢/kg cwt.
After what has been such a prolonged period of high slaughter across the eastern states, evidence of shorter cattle numbers is beginning to emerge, particularly after Longreach cancelled the second sale in a month, reportedly due to limited numbers. While this is typical as we approach the summer months, the turn to irregular sales has commenced much earlier this year.
Despite the short week in some states, sheep and lamb numbers continued to surge as new season lambs enter the market, with Wagga Wagga yarding 45,500 head, and numbers in Victoria firm to slightly higher, week-on-week. As a result of the Monday public holiday, there were mixed results in the market, however, nationally, heavy lambs lost 4¢/kg cwt, to finish Thursday on 423¢/kg cwt, while the light lamb indicator gained 36¢/kg, to finish the week on 387¢/kg cwt.