Cattle prices surge on demand

Headshot of Bob Garnant
Bob GarnantCountryman
Cattle prices continue to break records with improved demand from feeders.
Camera IconCattle prices continue to break records with improved demand from feeders. Credit: Countryman

Cattle producers across Australian continue to enjoy record prices with the Eastern Young Cattle Indicator breaking through the 900¢/kg barrier last week.

The EYIC reached 901.75¢kg carcase weight amid a big offering on April 14, with 15,032 cattle sold at saleyards on the east coast.

That was an increase of 10,000 head week-on-week.

Producers sensing heightened demand post Easter break looked to capitalise, but the large increases in supply did not place downward pressure on price.

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Price dominance strongly correlated with higher throughput to help the EYCI launch into the 900¢ realm.

The Western Young Cattle Indicator continues to remain strong and enjoys a substantial premium above the EYCI, closing at 953.75¢/kg cwt on April 15.

The record comes after the WYCI hit record high of 994¢/kg cwt set on April 1.

Meat and Livestock market information manager Steve Bignell said the WYCI had a dip in April only because of the Easter break market recess.

“The WYCI has continually broke its own record throughout 2020 and looks very strong in 2021,” he said.

“Increased demand from feeders is very strong and getting even stronger.

“We are seeing two-thirds of all buyers from feeder demand.”

Gingin Angus producer David Roe.
Camera IconGingin Angus producer David Roe. Credit: Bob Garnant

Benalong Grazing cattle producer David Roe said the high cattle prices, since 2019, had been welcomed by the younger generation.

“It is good to see younger people in the cattle industry enjoy the premium prices,” he said.

“This was not the case from 2003 to 2017 when prices were very flat.”

Mr Roe’s family business offered 120 Angus heifer breeders through AuctionsPlus recently that sold for $1620/head or 558.8¢/kg live weight.

“Overall, beef prices can’t go up much higher, it is a bit of a concern for the processors and consumers,” he said.

“I expect we will have a slight correction and a 10 to 15 per cent drop would be reasonable for a more sustainable industry.”

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