With everything pointing towards lower cattle supply, and grain prices on the wane, we would think the market should be starting to take heed.
It was not this week though, with the downward trend in cattle prices extended.
The east coast cattle slaughter figures give a fair idea as to why cattle prices continue to fall. It has been four years since east coast slaughter has been this strong at this time of year, and it’s running 10 per cent ahead of this time last year.
Interestingly, heavy slaughter cattle prices are not that far below last year. The National Trade Steer is 19¢ below the same time last year, but Heavy Steers are 2¢ better.
Restockers and feeders are dragging the chain and the Eastern Young Cattle Indicator (EYCI) is now 72¢ off last years levels, at 449.5¢/kg cwt. The EYCI hasn’t been below 450¢ since April 2015, so it looks like good buying.
Helping support finished cattle prices are rising 90CL export values. Last week the price in US terms gained 6.5¢, while in our terms it was up 25¢.
The increase in export values is nearing a three year high and in US terms, the 90CL is heading towards a 10 month high.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.