The April to June forecast shows a 50/50 chance of rainfall exceeding the median from April to June for most of the country, which is a pretty good outlook considering just a fortnight ago half of the country had a less than 20-30 per cent chance of exceeding the median.
Unfortunately, the extended dry conditions and the dire outlook from a fortnight ago saw many producers in Queensland and NSW offload cattle, such that east coast yardings have remained elevated for the last few weeks.
Since the start of March average weekly cattle yarding levels have been 33 per cent higher than the five-year average pattern across the east coast.
The supply of younger cattle in the northern saleyards has seen the Eastern Young Cattle Indicator (EYCI) slide to lows not seen since 2014 and has closed the week at 393c/kg cwt.
We are at crucial support levels now for the EYCI and after registering a mid-week low towards 385c, managed to see prices climb back towards 400c in the final days of the week.
In a further sign of optimism trade, medium and heavy steers all managed a price gain this week to see them rally between 15-30c/kg.
The spread discount of the EYCI to the 90CL is now in excess of 260c/kg cwt and is beyond levels that would be considered historically extreme.