SALEYARD cattle prices dipped further last week at Western Australian cattle markets as uncertainty hung like a rain cloud following the blaze that destroyed Western Meat Packers (WMP) on Monday November 16.
At Midland last week the local heavyweight cow market was hit hard and recorded cheaper values of 10 cents a kilogram for light and heavyweight cows.
The National Livestock Reporting Service (NLRS) said the WMP blaze had sent the WA beef industry into chaos and had a detrimental affect on finished cattle prices.
WMP Group has since negotiated a short term shared agreement of a meat processing facility in Fremantle which will enable production of about 50 cattle per day.
The news came on the back of another tough week in cattle yards where national indicator prices declined across all cattle categories, according to Meat and Livestock Australia.
The story was grim in Queensland and NSW where continued dry conditions, a high A$ and low export demand may pull forward closure of export works to early-to-mid December.
But in Victoria and SA good follow-up rain encouraged a sharp recovery in saleyard prices, MLA said.
Feedlots had managed to find a silver lining, displaying buying sector resilience for the month of November, according to MLA.
Unlike other buying sectors, their purchases had risen 24 per cent year-on-year in November, it quoted.
Despite having to balance a lower export demand with the high A$, feedlots had the added benefit of low value grain and cheaper cattle prices to encourage continued activity.
MLA reported yearling heifers and steers to feeders lifted 52pc and 20pc respectively, while grown steers to feedlots increased by 17pc year-on-year.
But with limited demand from other buying sectors, prices received for feeder cattle could not withstand the declining prices and had resulted in the national feeder steer indicator falling 9pc year-on-year for November to settle at 158c/kg liveweight.
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