Any cattle out of spec or lacking quality are facing market challenges

Looking ahead, there’s cautious optimism for market improvement as we approach spring.

By Simon McKittrick, Logical Livestock & Property

After spending a week in Rockhampton for Beef Week, the premier event showcasing the beef industry, it’s evident that there is much to be optimistic about. The event featured everything from live cattle and breed societies to equipment, machinery, financial institutions, and tech and data companies, reflecting the maturity and sophistication of our industry.

It was also encouraging to see so many smart young people committed to a future in the beef business. If you haven’t attended before, I highly recommend marking Beef 27 on your calendar.

On the market front, most categories have softened this week. Cows were down 20-30 cents in some physical markets. Light cattle are starting to show real value, with plenty available, while PTIC heifers and late or out-of-sync PTIC cows are struggling to sell. Quality market cattle are fetching reasonable prices, but any categories just out of spec or lacking quality are facing challenges.

Seasonally, most areas of NSW and QLD are looking quite good. Conversations with industry contacts in Rockhampton revealed that Queensland has an abundance of feed, which is significant given the beef state’s size and scale.

However, an SA contact reported this week that much of their state is quite dry, even the southern regions, Victoria is also experiencing patchy conditions.

Given the current supply of cattle, significant changes are unlikely unless there’s substantial rain across the cropping regions. Some forecasters suggest this might happen in early to mid-June, which could boost trader confidence and help stabilise market fluctuations.

Both physical and emotional factors are influencing market expectations and outcomes. Looking ahead, there’s cautious optimism for market improvement as we approach spring.

The Bureau of Meteorology’s recent announcement of an 80% chance of La Niña later in the year adds to this positive outlook.

On a practical note, we will have 120 mixed-age Hereford PTIC cows available for private sale. They are joined to Renny Lea Angus bulls for a July calving over seven weeks. These cows are currently on agistment at Quambone.

The EYCI is currently sitting around the 618c mark, while the Aus dollar is sitting just at a bit over US 66c.

  • 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 @ $3.30/3.50 
  • Cow @ $4.30/4.70 
  • MSA Steers @ $4.90/5.20