Cattle supply remains stable
APART from variations from centre to centre the supply of stock across Queensland at markets covered by Meat and Livestock Australia’ National Livestock Reporting Service last week generally hovered around the levels of the previous week.
Selling centres in the south of the state experienced some small increases in supply, however numbers at Longreach went against the trend to ease 35 per cent following the large yarding last week.
Overall quality continues to be mixed with most centres reporting large numbers of young cattle.
The winter weather was reflected in a large portion of the calves and vealers with most starting to slip in condition, and at Dalby the quality of the steers and bullocks was not up to the standard of recent weeks.
Buyer attendance at the start of the week was generally good, but by mid-week most were present but not all operating and by the end of week not all export buyers were present.
Values for young cattle varied according to quality and buyers were selective, with only top quality lines commanding high prices. Vealer heifers to the trade started the week on a strong trend but by mid-week average prices eased by four cents to eight cents a kilo. Demand for medium-weight yearling steers to feed generally held up throughout the week while heavy feeders across all markets averaged three cents a kilo less.
Heavy steers and bullocks started the week on a strong to dearer trend, with the lack of competition from export processors mid- and late-week markets average prices fell by four to six cents. Cows followed a similar trend but average losses were confined to one to two cents a kilo.
A large supply of calves returned to the paddock at 223¢ with the occasional pen to 271.2¢, while slaughter grades mostly sold around 200¢/kg.
Vealer steers purchased by restockers sold to 239.2¢ to average 220¢/kg. Vealer heifers to slaughter were well-supplied and averaged 204¢ with some to local butchers paying 229.2¢/kg. A large number of lightweight yearling steers returned to the paddock at an average of 230¢ with well-bred grades reaching 257.2¢/kg.
Medium-weight yearling steers to feed averaged 208¢ and heavy grades lost three cents to average 184¢, with sales to 194¢/kg. Light-weight yearling heifers in the C2 range to restockers averaged 204¢, while lesser quality D muscle lines averaged 139¢/kg.
Medium weight grown steers to feed averaged 173¢ and sold to 184.2¢/kg. Heavy steers to export slaughter averaged six cents less at 175¢/kg.
The bullock portion lost four cents to average close to 177¢, and a small sample of heavy bullocks made to 187.2¢ to average 176¢/kg.
Medium-weight two score cows generally averaged in the 120¢/kg range and three scores 135¢/kg.
A fairly large selection of good heavy cows lost three cents to average 150¢ with a few pens to 165.2¢/kg.