Queensland cattle grids jump

Key points:

  • Sharp increases across Queensland cattle grids
  • New highs for Queensland trade & heavy steer OTH quotes
  • Eastern states slaughter levels remain elevated

Over-the-hook cattle indicators (OTH) moved higher this week – with some contributors lifting quotes upwards of 20¢/kg carcase weight (cwt) week-on-week. In particular, Queensland indicators surged with demand factors pushed OTH quotes for trade and heavy steers to new records.

Demand for well-conditioned cattle across all categories remain sought after by processors to satisfy robust overseas demand, with China at the forefront. NLRS eastern states slaughter levels continue to indicate finished cattle remain well supplied, a trend which looks likely to be sustained until the end of the year, given the current domestic and overseas trading conditions.

For the calendar year-to-October, NLRS eastern slaughter reports female slaughter 27% higher year on year, whilst male slaughter has tracked 6% lower year on year. A tighter supply of male cattle highlights the impact of fewer calves born over the last two years and is now limiting the availability of finished steers, supporting the most recent price lift.

All OTH indicators in Queensland increased considerably, with particular strength now evident in the prices quoted for steers. The Queensland trade steer is currently tracking 113¢/kg cwt above the medium cow indicator, equating to a 24% premium. However, cow prices have also seen sharp increases, unsurprising considering 90CL prices recently reached record levels and competition for grinding beef is intense.

Queensland cattle OTH indicators for the week ending 25 October 2019, compared to the week prior:

  • The over-the-hook trade steer indicator averaged 581¢ – up 19¢/kg cwt
  • The over-the-hook heavy steer indicator averaged 590¢ – up 22¢/kg cwt
  • The over-the-hook medium cow indicator averaged 468¢ – up 25¢/kg cwt
  • The over-the-hook 100 day grainfed steer indicator averaged 601¢ – up 20¢/kg cwt
  • The over-the-hook MSA trade steer averaged 592¢ – up 18¢/kg cwt

© Meat & Livestock Australia Limited, 2019

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