While east coast slaughter rallied to a six-month high a fortnight ago, prices have managed to hold their ground.
The real cause for concern was a significant slip in export prices to the US, which will place pressure on cattle prices. The lift in slaughter was concentrated in Queensland, where 8000 more cattle were slaughtered, but this had little impact on prices.
The fact slaughter rates are tracking 9 per cent below the same time last year has processors chasing stock.
Weakening export prices to the US are a concern, as the 90CL frozen cow price for US exports this week fell back to close to a 2½ year low of 540¢/kg swt.
Both the EYCI and WYCI hold very strong premiums to the 90CL price at 634.50¢ and 654¢/kg cwt, respectively. History suggests this can’t last.