WYCI hitting record highs in April

The Western Young Cattle Indicator (WYCI) is a seven-day rolling average of young cattle prices across Western Australia. This includes vealer and yearling heifers and steers with a muscle score C, live weight of 200kg+ and a fat score of two or three.

Year in review for the WYCI

The WYCI had a slow start in 2021 with a low in June of 923.54c/kg cwt. Towards the end of the year, there was a rise in the WYCI as demand from restockers increased. The indicator hit a high of 1,187.09c/kg cwt in October 2021 before softening in the early months of 2022.

Last week, the WYCI hit a record high of 1,202.34c/kg cwt. Restockers contributed to 56.6% of sales, followed by feeder sales, which contributed 43.3%.

Restocker demand compared

The pie charts below show a comparison between restocker demand this week and restocker demand from the last dip in the WYCI two weeks ago.

The two pie charts show an 8.4% strengthening in restocker demand.

Vealer and yearling steer prices have been increasing in the last few weeks, indicating that producers are looking to purchase these females for breeding for their rebuild intentions. Prices for vealer steers in WA are 646.88c/kg lwt, 33c higher week-on-week. Yearling steers nationally have been softening in price while in WA, the prices are strengthening. Since the end of last year prices for yearling steers in WA have increased 144% to 640c/kg lwt. These are prime cattle for breeding intentions.

Looking to the future

The recent rise of the WYCI and restocker demand indicates producer intentions for a WA herd rebuild throughout 2022.

With recent rain events increasing feed on the ground and the promise of a good growing season for the broad acre systems, there is more incentive to retain numbers than sell them off to the feeder and processor markets.

/Public Release. This material from the originating organization/author(s) may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s).View in full here.