Optimism for gradual cattle market improvement towards spring 2024

By Simon McKittrick, Logical Livestock Solutions
The recent rainfall has arrived perfectly in time for a good Autumn break. With significant falls ranging between 60-100mm+ across NSW, QLD, and the NT, depending on your luck, this was very welcomed wherever it fell.
However, despite the good falls, the immediate impact on pricing across most markets hasn’t been as dramatic.

Understanding the reasons behind this lack of immediate response isn’t straightforward. Several factors appear to be contributing to the current market hesitancy or holding pattern.

The lingering cautiousness from last year’s dry spell has left a mark, with some hoping for one more substantial rain event to truly boost confidence. Many traders are still recovering from the losses incurred last year, affecting both their cash flow and confidence levels.

Moreover, the current abundance of cattle due to three years of breeding up numbers and favourable seasons means buyers are now more selective in their purchases.

Last week alone, there have been up to 30,000 head of cattle in weaner sales across NSW, indicating the current saturation in just enough cattle in the market.

Considering these factors, it’s evident that both physical and emotional elements play a role in shaping market expectations and outcomes. Nonetheless, some processors are testing the waters with their current pricing strategies, which could shift with another rain event or if sellers show resistance.

Looking ahead, there’s optimism for gradual market improvement as we approach Spring. The recent announcement by the BOM stating an 80% chance of La Nina is also a positive sign, given their typically conservative estimates.

The EYCI is currently sitting around the 616c mark, while the Aus dollar is sitting just at a bit over US 65c.

  • Domestic Feeder Steer @ $3.00/3.30
  • Domestic Feeder Heifer @ $2.60/2.80 
  • Heavy Feeder Steer @ $2.80/3.00 
  • Angus Heavy Feeder Steer @ $3.20/3.40 
  • Cow @ $4.60/4.80 
  • MSA Steers @ $4.90/5.20