A four-day working week, on the back of the Queen’s Birthday public holiday on Monday, made little difference to demand, despite weaker supply in some markets.
Missing from the past seven days of markets are Wagga Wagga and Pakenham, with small markets only, last Thursday.
It appears very obvious when attending markets, the lack of enthusiasm by processors, which only confirms my thoughts of increasing supply from feedlots, both registered and non-registered.
Having said this, until we get back to a stable, full working week, the market may not settle. If processors can’t get enough supply in a market, then their participation may not be forthcoming anyway.
Many markets are already down to winter levels, and saleyard prices continue to vary, generally on the cheaper side.
Looking at Camperdown, Colac, Warrnambool, Wangaratta, and Warragul markets, there is little supply of any category, with the exception of cows. Even Pakenham and Bairnsdale markets are lacking in sufficient numbers of any one class of cattle.
The main driver for northern markets has been feedlot and restocker competition, and this is easing back as feedlots fill up, and winter conditions affect restockers. Considering all of this, MLA’s market reports are a little like a roller coaster in pattern.
Vealers are selling mostly from 340-375 cents per kilogram liveweight, with only restocker competition setting any higher trends.
Trade cattle were cheaper on average, which can be attributed, in part, to quality. Missing from some quotes this week are the very high prices of grain fed cattle. The top end prices here, this week, are around 362c/kg, at Shepparton, which was the highest price market the previous week.
Most bullock prices range from 285-315c/kg with prime bullocks few and far between,and lacking condition. Any of the heavier cattle, heifers and cows included, were firm to cheaper, some of this driven by lack of competition.
Manufacturing bullocks sold mostly from 245-295c with best quality to 308c/kg, and grown heifers mostly 245-305c/kg. Some of the better quality heifers could be packed in boxes similar to prime steer cuts.
There are still a large number of cows being yarded on a percentage basis, year-on-year. This has seen some cows quoted as cheaper, but overall, trends are still very mixed. Very lean cows were cheaper at Bairnsdale, last Thursday, with one of the regular buyers absent.
Although better quality cows were cheaper in places, they still ranged from 235-262c/kg. Prices for leaner cows varied between 135 and 215c/kg for most sales.