Processors and Prices
Sale yard cattle throughput dropped in Queensland last week, pushing east coast cattle yarding to levels 33% below the five-year average pattern for this week in the season and the tight cattle volumes made their way through to reduced processing numbers.
Weekly east coast cattle slaughter eased 4% for the week ending 13th May to see 84,774 head processed. Cattle slaughter volumes are sitting 36% below the seasonal trend, according to the five-year average pattern for this week in the year.
However, weekly lamb and sheep processing volumes are back on track, running in line with the average seasonal trend for the first time since the Easter break during mid-April. For two consecutive weeks now lamb slaughter has managed volumes above 350,000 head and sheep slaughter has sat just a few thousand head off 90,000 per week for the last fortnight.
After strong surge earlier in the week for the National Heavy Steer to 501c/kg lwt the indicator dropped sharply over the last two days to finish at 432c/kg lwt yesterday (18th May). Week on week the Heavy Steer has eased 3.4%.
Young cattle prices across the country have moved in sync over the past week with Eastern and Western Young Cattle Indicators sitting within 5 cents of each other. The EYCI dropped marginally over the week, off 0.8% to 1099c/kg cwt. Meanwhile, the WYCI took a 7.6% hit to finish at 1094c/kg cwt.
Trade lamb prices in the east have seen a 1% drop to 788c/kg cwt. However, in the west trade lamb prices saw volatility return with a sharp 18.8% fall to 548c/kg cwt. The National Mutton Indicator managed a solid 9% lift over the week with prices rising to 620c/kg cwt and these gains have been made despite some strong increases to mutton saleyard volumes, particularly in Victoria.