Holding back the steers

Livestock | 25th November 2021 | By Matt Dalgleish

The Snapshot

  • East coast cattle yardings remain nearly 32% under the average trend for this time in the season.
  • Queensland’s weekly throughput numbers remain 22% under the seasonal average trend for this week in the year.
  • NSW has their current weekly throughput volumes running 34% below the five-year average for this week in the season.
  • Meanwhile, Victorian cattle yardings are the tightest of all three states, with current throughput volumes sitting nearly 45% under the normal seasonal pattern.

The Detail

Weekly cattle throughput numbers across all eastern mainland states remain “simply in the red”, when compared to their respective five-year seasonal average pattern with Queensland, NSW and Victoria all reporting volumes well below trend for this time in the year. The low sale yard volumes persisting despite weekly cattle yardings across the East coast registering an uptick in volumes from the week prior.

Wet paddocks and flooding in some regions hampering transport was noted as one factor limiting throughput volumes. The confirmation of a La Nina extending into 2022 from the Bureau of Meteorology this week also giving confidence to producers to hold cattle for weight gain without too much fear of significant price declines.

East coast cattle yardings for the week ending 19th November increased by 18% to see 38,923 head presented at the saleyard. Despite the increase in cattle throughput, numbers remain nearly 32% under the average trend for this time in the season. East coast cattle slaughter volumes are mirroring this low supply environment with east coast cattle volumes processed over the last month running 27% under the five-year average pattern, so it doesn’t seem to be a flood of cattle going over-the-hooks that is causing the underwhelming sale yard throughput.

The throughput summary for cattle in the individual east coast states is as follows:

  • Queensland – saw a 34% lift in cattle yardings to just over 15,000 head. However, weekly throughput numbers remain 22% under the seasonal average trend for this week in the year.
  • NSW – posted a 19% gain over the week to record nearly 15,000 head. Parts of NSW have been more impacted by recent rains than Queensland and Victoria and this appears to be hampering throughput there significantly, with the current weekly volumes running 34% below the five-year average for this week in the season.
  • Victoria – as the least impacted mainland east coast state by the wet weather only saw a 2% drop in yardings for the week ending 19th November with 6,400 head reported at the saleyard. However, a comparison to the five-year average pattern shows Victorian cattle yardings are the tightest of all three states with current throughput volumes sitting nearly 45% under the normal seasonal pattern. Perhaps the prospect of a wet spring/summer and an La Nina extending into 2022 has Victorian producers happy to hold cattle on pasture that is uncharacteristically green and abundant for this time in the year.
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Tags

  • Cattle
  • Beef
  • Throughput
  • Supply and Demand