Thursday 23 August 2012
The past week saw prices for young cattle increase, largely due to a rise in Queensland, while in contrast; light lambs fell back again, as restocker demand remains tentative.
The benchmark EYCI finished Thursday at 381.25¢/kg cwt – slipping back below the corresponding period last year.
The lamb market was dearer this week for the medium and heavy categories, with trade lambs averaging 418¢/kg cwt – up 6¢ for the week.
While heavy lambs also jumped 6¢, to 395¢/kg cwt, the lightest categories continued to ease on the back of higher numbers, with Merino lambs nationally averaging 333¢/kg cwt - 110¢ below the corresponding week last year.
The main change in prices this week was for mutton, which averaged 31¢ lower nationally, at 240¢/kg cwt – the lowest weekly price since the final week of May 2009.
Contributing to the lower mutton price is both the high A$, along with the increased numbers of lambs available, which has reduced demand from processors and exporters.
The cattle market was also mixed this week, with trade steers (389¢/kg cwt) and cows (273¢/kg cwt) edging higher, while heavy steers fell 6¢, to 338¢/kg cwt. while yardings for the week were up 4% on last week, demand continues to be the main concern, accentuated by the high A$.
The latest DAFF export figures for the first two weeks of August continue to point to sluggish export volumes for beef, while lamb continues to move at higher volumes, but reduced prices – facilitated by the year-on-year increase in production.
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