Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

Yearling Numbers Fall, Yet Slaughter Figures Hit High

Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

Yearling Numbers Fall, Yet Slaughter Figures Hit High

Article excerpt

THERE have been a larger proportion of D muscled cattle at Meat and Livestock Australia's (MLA) National Livestock Reporting Service (NLRA) reported saleyards in recent weeks, as cooler temperatures see producers offloading stock before winter weather sets in.

However, the percentage of medium weight C muscled yearling steers has nose-dived from their peak in the last week of April, dropping by more than half throughout May.

Reportedly, saleyards have noticed that less prime conditioned yearlings and vealers are being offered, with the gulf in both numbers and price compared to the plainer categories clear.

Last week, unfinished vealers recorded significant price falls, along with many of the plainer conditioned pens, particularly for heifers and smaller consignments.

However, sales this week have been somewhat steadier, with stronger demand from lotfeeders and an increased presence from restockers helping to underpin the market. Composition wise, there were more vealer steers offered and less yearling steers and heifers, whilst grown steer and cow numbers were similar.

With southern New South Wales and large parts of Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia all experiencing dry seasonal conditions, many producers have opted to offload stock earlier, with light vealers, many just weaned, entering the saleyards in order to maintain existing feed reserves.

Producers in areas where stock feed is not a problem have been able to underpin the market, which has not been the case in past seasons. Good rainfall in northern New South Wales and southern Queensland and the forecast for some rain across southern regions in the week ahead is timely, especially for fodder crops and pasture growth.

Prices for D2 yearling steers nationally have slipped away over the past four weeks, declining 9o, to average 137o/kg. …

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