Cattle price smashes another record

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Bob GarnantCountryman
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Cattle prices continue to climb as feeder and re-stocker demand increases.
Camera IconCattle prices continue to climb as feeder and re-stocker demand increases. Credit: Danella Bevis/Countryman, Danella Bevis

The Eastern Young Cattle Indicator catapulted to a record price of 1031¢/kg on August 25, but still has a while to go to beat the Western Young Cattle Indicator record of 1042¢/kg set in June.

The new price set was up 23¢/kg compared to previous record price of 1008¢ set on the day prior as restockers and feedlotters drive the increase as they compete for limited supply.

Meat and Livestock Australia market information manager Stephen Bignell said the EYCI had broken itself twice this week as a result of increased re-stocker demand from Queensland after the state’s central and southern regions experienced further encouraging rainfalls.

The WYCI moved up 6.69¢/kg higher on August 23, closing at 968.90¢/kg.

Eastern States demand for WA cattle has been behind the WYCI smashing its own record 14 times this year alone.

Mr Bignell said plentiful rain in WA and on in the eastern states was driving confidence in the market.

“On the back of good rains, re-stockers have made an impact at the Eastern States saleyards, competing more so against the feeders and processors,” he said.

“These re-stockers are paying a premium of 105¢/kg more than the feeders and as much as 180¢/kg more than the processors.”

Mr Bignell said the dynamics were different in WA with feedlots taking 83 per cent of the WYCI cattle, processors 10 per cent and re-stockers 6 per cent.

Comparatively in the EYCI, re-stockers were taking 50 per cent of cattle sold.

Closer to home, yearling heifers dominated at the August 19 yarding at the Mt Barker Regional Saleyards — selling to higher demand to top at 508¢/kg for lighter weights.

Light weight weaner steers sold from 420¢ to 610¢/kg.

Mr Bignell said feeders and re-stockers should keep an eye on on-the-hook carcase prices — which could determine if young cattle purchased now would have a profit margin when resold.

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