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Friday, May 15, 2015

NSW livestock markets at the top of their game

By Augusto Semmelroth  |  Source: MLA's NLRS

Livestock markets in NSW have finally managed to rebound following a minor price correction in March and in the first half of April. Over the last 4-6 weeks cattle prices have recovered 15-25%, depending on the category. This put them at all-time highs last week. Lambs have also enjoyed a similar recovery during the period to see them making their way back toward their 95th percentiles.

Key points:

  • After a period of easing livestock prices in March and early April, the improved seasonal conditions of late and easing supplies have seen the price of cattle, lamb and mutton – despite last week’s weaker prices – recover significantly.
  • On the cattle front, robust demand for both finished and store cattle pushed NSW prices back towards their February highs in late April and into unchartered territory over the last two weeks.
  • Grassfed finished steers are now only a few cents off the 500¢/kg cwt mark, with heavy steers at 479¢, medium steers at 491¢ and trade steers at 498¢/kg cwt.
  • Surpassing 500¢/kg cwt will be a landmark for domestic cattle markets, and this could well be a support level for steers in the years to come.
  • Feeder steers have also posted a similar price recovery since late March and are now quoted at 270¢/kg lwt.
  • With the exception of cows, all NSW cattle indicators are at their 100th percentile. And cows aren’t too far off.
  • Despite the remarkably firm cattle prices, turnoff remains historically strong and it will only be a matter of time before numbers finally start easing more substantially to place more upward pressure on prices.
  • Although cattle have outperformed since late March, lambs have also managed to recover all the ground lost in February March, with NSW prices up around 20% over the period.
  • Merino lambs rebounded more strongly than crossbred lines, with prices jumping 118¢, or 28%, in the last five weeks to 533¢/kg cwt.
  • In percentile terms, that has put merino lambs on the top of the ladder at the 97th level. Other categories are not far behind at the 94th (light) to 96th (trade/heavy) level.
  • Mutton markets are also up since March, despite easing in the last two weeks. The NSW mutton indicator remains 42¢, or 13%, above late March levels, at 362¢/kg cwt.

Mecardo information is provided to assist in your marketing decisions. It contains a range of data and views on the current market. It is not intended to constitute advice for a specific purpose. Before taking any action in relation to information contained within this report, you should seek advice from a qualified professional. The information is obtained from a variety of sources and neither Mecardo nor Ag Concepts Advisory will be held liable for any loss or damage whatsoever that may arise from the use of information or for any error or mis-statement contained in this report. 

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