SOUTH EAST of South Australia have been basking in a good winter, and as the season shifts, the region is well prepared for spring with water, grass, and an abundant supply of livestock at Naracoorte.
Supply at their Tuesday market jumped by 60 per cent, with agents offering 1543 cattle. Prices increased along with the quality and supply.
Not every market was the same however, as some markets lifted in number but included more plain condition cows and heifers.
Camperdown market was one example where supply increased around 40pc, but female cattle totaled 600 head or 84pc of the total, according to Meat & Livestock Australia’s market report.
Looking from the top of Queensland down, supply did fluctuate between all of the markets with numbers increasing overall.
Fespite the drought, and the increasing cost of grain, demand for feeder steers and heifers from restockers remains solid.
Markets, particularly from Wagga Wagga and Wodonga heading north, experienced large price increases for cattle to turn out. The realization that the supply of prime cattle heading toward the end of 2018 is going to be scarce, triggered the increased demand.
The increased need for feeder cattle was reflected in MLA’s Eastern States Feeder Report, although prices into feedlots only lifted 2 to 10 cents per kilogram liveweight. Price trends at physical markets was a lot dearer with prices lifting 20-50c/kg in many markets.
For domestic processors there was no joy at all with prices lifting over most classes of steers and heifers. Having said this, numerous markets reported an increase in quality.
The best vealers sold to 343c/kg with many of the increasing number selling form 290-330c/kg to the trade.
As the days lengthen and grass grows, more finished cattle are appearing in the market. Aiding the higher prices, which ranged form 290 to 330c, was a larger supply of grain finished cattle.
Grain prices have risen, which is one factor, but many grain fattened cattle are reaching the end of their time on feed.
Many of these very good quality cattle don’t fit the EYCI rating, and the EYIC finished at 490.5c, just 2c/kg higher week-on-week.
The supply of grown steers and bullocks lifted, reflecting the increased demand due to insufficient supply.
Many markets sold grown steers from 290- 315c/kg, and prime bullocks sold in a similar price range. With the exception of Camperdown where prices were mostly cheaper, in other markets price increases were the norm.