Eastern young cattle prices hit all-time record

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Bob GarnantCountryman
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Eastern young cattle prices have broken records again as feeder buyers and restockers continue to battle it out for the limited numbers on offer.
Camera IconEastern young cattle prices have broken records again as feeder buyers and restockers continue to battle it out for the limited numbers on offer. Credit: Bob Garnant/Countryman, Bob Garnant

Australian cattle prices continue to surge in a bullish market with the Eastern Young Cattle Indicator hitting a record 960¢/kg on Monday, up 200¢/kg on the same time last year.

This rise represents a 15.40¢/kg increase in a week, and a 48¢/kg rise in a month.

The price surge was the result of encouraging rain that has driven rising demand from feeder buyers and restockers.

Thomas Elders Market analyst Matt Dalgleish said demand from Queensland and Northern NSW was particularly strong given the low herd numbers from those regions as a result of previous drought conditions.

“The industry is experiencing continued low slaughter numbers,” he said.

“Meanwhile, the outlook globally is for increased demand, particularly from our nearest neighbours in South-East Asia.”

Mr Dalgleish said the EYCI was now at its highest in both nominal and inflation-adjusted terms.

“The last time prices were at this level was in 1965, when they reached 936¢/kg in current dollar terms,” he said.

“The EYCI is not far off its peak, with the heavy steer price coming back to 400¢/kg.

“At the current prices levels, there is some risk in the market.”

Meat and Livestock Australia’s Western Young Cattle Indicator was 963.86¢c/kg on Monday, which has maintained the lead since January.

The WYCI reached a record 1017.89¢/kg on June 1, a whopping 128¢/kg more than its eastern counterpart.

It was the 14th time it had reached new heights since January, with the figure surging over 1000¢/kg for the first time on April 1.

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