Cattle throughput spikes due to high prices

Key points:

  • Queensland cattle throughput has spiked during the last week
  • Last week, all Queensland saleyard indicators plateaued, except Medium Steers
  • The greatest spike was experienced at Dalby, where throughput increased 148% on week-ago levels.

Impressive cattle prices across all indicators are motivating producers to take advantage and sell. For this week through to Wednesday, Queensland saleyard throughput jumped a remarkable 120%.

The uptick in Queensland saleyard throughput, an increase of 69% on year-ago levels, has been particularly influenced by producers with surplus cattle who have waited for a suitable opportunity to offload stock.

The sharp increase in supply has only had minor impacts on some Queensland indicators to this point. Over the last week, the following Queensland categories have come off the boil slightly or stabilised, largely due to increased supply:

  • Feeder Yearling Steer: stabilised for no change
  • Heavy Steer: -0.4%
  • Medium Cow: -3.2%
  • Processor Yearling Steer: – 3%

Not all saleyards have increased in throughput this week, especially in Victoria, as some missed their usual Tuesday sale due to the Australia Day public holiday. The throughput of these sale centres will be closely monitored next week.

Interestingly, the increase in saleyard activity has not translated to increased slaughter numbers in Queensland. The state’s weekly slaughter numbers sat at 38,400 for the week, down 47% on last year.

As the herd rebuild gains momentum, it is expected that yardings will be down on last year, however, the current record prices will encourage speculation, trading and producers to sell surplus cattle.

© Meat & Livestock Australia Limited, 2021

To build your own custom report with MLA’s market information tool click here.

To view the specification of the indicators reported by MLA’s National Livestock Reporting Service click here.

/Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here.