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Mustang Sally Farm
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« Reply #225 on: June 25, 2012, 08:14:53 AM »


Prices and Supply

Prime cattle prices edged backwards during May to close the month at 352p/kg dwt, having posted a record high of 355p/kg dwt at the end of April. Though deadweight prices are now trading approximately 12.5% higher year-on-year, they are only slightly higher than six months ago. Prices have shown a similar trend in the auction ring. The recent weakening in prices indicates that abattoirs have been been able to source sufficient volumes of cattle to meet their requirements. Cull stock values have also come off their recent highs with beef cows trading at 143p/kg lwt at the end of May, down from 148p/kg lwt at the end of March. Nevertheless, beef cows are still up 11% on the level at which they opened 2012.

DEFRA data for slaughterings at UK abattoirs shows that throughputs continued to slide in April compared with last year as 5% fewer prime cattle were slaughtered. In the first third of the year slaughterings were down 8% on the year. Throughputs fell during April to a lesser extent than in previous months as the number of steers killed fell by 2%, compared with a 6% shortfall in the January to March period. So far this year 8% fewer heifers have been slaughtered, implying that producers have increased retentions for breeding. Young bull volumes fell 17% year-on-year over the four-month period.
In Scotland, the supply of prime cattle to abattoirs has been even tighter, down 10% year-on-year over the first four months. Similar to the situation in the rest of the UK, the decline in heifer slaughterings has been greater than that for steers, while the young bull kill has fallen sharply; high feed costs have reduced the profitability of young bull systems. However, the culling of mature stock at UK abattoirs picked up during April. After running 9% behind year-earlier levels in the first quarter (Q1), monthly volumes moved 3% ahead of last year in April. North of the border, a 5% increase in the culling of mature stock during April was enough to move volumes 1% above year earlier levels for the first third of 2012. At the UK level, they remain 6% lower. Irish abattoirs continued to kill fewer cattle than last year during May. Weekly data for the first four months of the year indicate that slaughterings have been approximately 20% lower. However, supplies should begin to ease late in the year as the Irish December census revealed a significant increase in the number of cattle under one year old on Irish farms. A major contributing factor has been a collapse in live calf exports. So with prices falling in the UK despite tight supplies, this points to a fall in demand at the retail level. Indeed the latest data available from market research firm, Kantar, indicates that beef consumption declined by 5.5% year-on-year in the period between mid-January and mid-April. However, consumers actually spent more money on beef, meaning that it was the higher prices that reduced purchased volumes. This is unsurprising given the current squeeze on living standards, in which prices across the economy have been rising faster than wages.
Average prices paid for cattle across the EU have been relatively stable during May. While young bulls and heifers have eased slightly, steers and cows have become a fraction more expensive. Irish prices rose 1% during the month and are up by around 12% on the year, slightly above average for the EU. Exchange rate movements have resulted in UK cattle prices being 20% higher than last May when quoted in Euros (well above the 12.5% gain in Sterling terms).
Lower domestic production volumes have had a knock-on impact on beef exports. In the first quarter of 2012 they totalled 28,600t, 17% down on the same period last year. Deliveries to all major UK customers declined, except for Ireland, the second largest export market. Ireland purchased 15% more beef to cover its tightly supplied market.
The reduction in UK production also led to increased beef imports. Shipments rose 6.5% on the year to 57,400t. There was also a shift in the composition of imports with frozen beef taking an increased share. This can be explained by the 10% reduction in slaughterings of mature animals during Q1 leading to an increased requirement for manufacturing beef, of which Ireland is the principal supplier.
News Round Up
The EU’s autonomous High Quality Beef import quota (not the Hilton quota) has been changed to a first-come-first-served basis, having previously been allocated through import licences. The previous system worked by allocating each country with a proportion of the quota, and then the exporting country would determine which firms could export, usually based on past trade flows. However, this process had the unintended consequence of leading to an oversubscription of licences as firms with no intention of exporting high quality beef could profit by taking a license and then selling it on to an exporting firm. Nevertheless, the new system has generated a new issue of uncertainty. Once the beef reaches Europe it will count towards the quota, but if the quota has already been filled when the shipment arrives in the EU, then either the full tariff will have to be paid, or the beef will have to be returned to its country of origin. The problem lies in the fact that the exporter cannot know if the quota has been filled when the beef is sent, or if the quota will be filled by the time the beef arrives in the EU. This could pose more of a problem for Australia and New Zealand since their shipping times will be considerably longer than those of the American nations. However, the quota requires full cattle traceability and this gives the Australians an advantage over the US as they already have a form of EID whereas the US does not. Therefore, firms in the US wishing to export will have to invest in a new production unit with full traceability that will not deliver a return for eighteen months, and even when it does, there will be some uncertainty due to the first-come-first-served nature of the quota.

 The EU has changed the amount of subsidy paid to EU beef exporters for product shipped to third countries. Export refunds have been cut to €163/t (approximately £130/t) from €224/t for beef carcases. The reasons given have been that prices have risen significantly and also that a tightly supplied EU beef market requires more product to remain in the EU.

 In Brazil a structural change in beef production towards feedlots is expected to continue this year. The number of cattle on feedlots is forecast at 3.87m head, up 15% year-on-year. The rise in feedlot production has offset a historical fluctuation in production volumes which tend to slow from May to September as dry weather reduces the weight gains of grass-fed cattle. The shift towards feedlots now means that Brazilian abattoirs have a more stable source of supply throughout the year and as a consequence prices now show less seasonal trend. As meat processors benefit from the increased certainty offered by stable supplies, they have encouraged growth in feedlot production by setting up their own operations and agreeing partnerships with producers. However, the combination of lower farmgate prices and rising feed costs are set to tighten feedlot margins in 2012.

 Tight cattle supplies and government policy continued to restrict Argentina’s beef exports in the opening third of 2012. Exports of the high-end Hilton cuts fell by 25% year-on-year while total fresh and frozen beef shipments were down 15%. Exporters were shielded to some extent, however, as market conditions pushed up the average value of the Hilton cuts by 8.5% to £9,900/t and fresh and frozen beef by 2.5% to £4,400/t. Germany continued to take more than half of the Hilton cuts while Israel, Russia and Chile maintained their positions as Argentina’s largest customers for fresh and frozen beef. Chile jumped from third to first as its imports from Argentina increased by 45%. Israel bought 20% less, meaning it fell to third place from first, but despite purchasing 7.5% less Russia remained the second largest buyer.

 By contrast, Uruguay managed to increase its beef exports over the same period. It shipped 83,100t to other countries between January and April, compared with 75,900t a year earlier. This was an increase of 9.5%. Higher exports have come despite a 5% decline in cattle slaughterings, thereby suggesting significantly lower domestic demand. Meanwhile, Uruguay’s national football team will promote the country’s offering of beef for the next eighteen months, after agreeing a deal with Uruguay’s meat promotion agency. Uruguay will compete at the London Olympics and is currently ranked third in the world.

 Another country that has seen its beef exports expand in 2012 has been Australia. Shipments rose by 1% to 368,000t in the first five months of the year. Growth has been aided by strong demand from the US, particularly for manufacturing beef, and deliveries are up nearly 60% at just over 100,000t. A recent weakening of the Australian Dollar against the US Dollar has increased the competitiveness of Australian beef and suggests that this growth could be sustained going forward. Of the smaller markets, Russia, Taiwan and Singapore also bought more than in the same period of 2011. However, this was partially offset by a decline in beef exports to Australia’s largest market, Japan. Exports fell 11% to 120,500t. Another significant buyer, Korea, purchased 41,000t, one-third less in the five month period than a year ago. Lower exports to Korea have been attributed to the recovery in domestic production after the FMD outbreak of eighteen months ago, plus a slowdown in beef
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« Reply #226 on: June 28, 2012, 09:50:56 AM »

Wednesday, June 27, 2012
UK Cattle Slaughterings Fall
UK - UK prime cattle slaughterings were eight per cent lower than in May 2011 at 156,000 head, according to the latest UK slaughter statistics from Defra.

Beef and veal production was 69,000 tonnes, six per cent lower than in May 2011.

UK clean sheep slaughterings were five per cent higher than in May 2011 at 757,000 head.

Mutton and lamb production was 18,000 tonnes, six per cent higher than in May 2011.

UK clean pig slaughterings were six per cent higher than in May 2011 at 753,000 head.

Pig meat production was 62,000 tonnes, six per cent higher than in May 2011.

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« Reply #227 on: July 03, 2012, 01:08:11 AM »

Monday, July 02, 2012
Australian Beef Cuts - Where they End up?
AUSTRALIA - An analysis of the export data for the main cuts of Australian beef over the course of 2011 reveals the varying tastes between its major markets.

Koreans have a taste for Australian blade and cube roll, Americans can’t get enough of manufacturing beef, Russians love silverside, thick flank and manufacturing beef, and the Taiwanese are buying up shin/shank, according to Meat and Livestock Australia. The Japanese like most of Australian cuts.

In 2011, Australian industry exported 949,195 swt of beef worth approximately A$4.7 billion.

Close to one quarter of this tonnage was manufacturing beef – with 328,516 tonnes swt exported to the top 20 destinations. The two largest markets for Australian manufacturing beef were Japan and the United States who took in around two thirds of this amount between them.

The next most popular Australian cut internationally was brisket, with 85,377 tonnes swt exported to the top 20 and Japan taking in the lion’s share of this (almost 79 per cent). Brisket was also one of the fastest growing cuts last year, with year-on-year growth of 15 per cent.

Around 63,680 tonnes swt of blade was exported last year, mainly to Japan and Korea.

Japan and Russia were the largest markets for the 57,805 tonnes swt of silverside/outside exported last year.

Sales of chuck roll to Korea grew strongly for the year, taking in more that 59 per cent of the 54,981 tonnes swt exported to the top 20 destinations.

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« Reply #228 on: July 07, 2012, 10:49:36 AM »

Friday, July 06, 2012

Beef Exports to Japan Down Four Per Cent in June

AUSTRALIA - Australian beef shipments to Japan in June declined four per cent year-on-year to 30,315 tonnes swt, with competition from the US and subdued bids from Japanese buyers reducing grainfed exports (down 17 per cent to 11,529 tonnes swt), reports Meat and Livestock Australia.

Grainfed manufacturing beef to Japan during the month decreased 40 per cent from last year to 2,454 tonnes swt, reflecting reduced production. Grainfed fullset volumes were also down six per cent year-on-year, to 708 tonnes swt.
In contrast, exports of grassfed fullset almost doubled from last year, to 969 tonnes swt - the highest since March 2010. Total grassfed exports were up six per cent year-on-year.
Beef exports to Japan during January to June totalled to 150,870 tonnes swt, down 10 per cent from the corresponding period in 2011.
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« Reply #229 on: July 15, 2012, 05:20:54 AM »

Friday, July 13, 2012
Weekly Australian Cattle Summary
AUSTRALIA - This report is a collection of weekly cattle price summaries from each Australian state by the Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA).

West Australia
Tighter local cattle supplies

Conditions in the northern and eastern pastoral regions remain reasonable with moderate weather patterns being experienced. Mustering activity remains solid as expected at this time of year. Conditions in the south remain very mixed. After several weeks dry and cold weather, this week witnessed a wide spread but sporadic rainfall. Despite this, conditions in the traditional cattle regions of the southwest remain very solid with good levels of green feed reported.

Cattle numbers in physical markets lifted this week due to an increase in Muchea’s numbers and despite low and limited supplies being penned at Great Southern. Muchea’s increased cattle supplies were due to larger and solid supplies of cattle sourced from pastoral regions.

The numbers of heavy weight steers and bullocks remained limited, as were heavy weight mature heifer supplies with local trade weight yearling volumes again very limited. Young store grades of local cattle remained fair and similar to what would normally be seen at this time of year, while cow supplies remained moderate.
Trade demand, both export and domestic remained solid throughout the classes, while feeder interest in store classes continued at solid levels. Restocker demand was also solid, particularly in lightweight classes. Local wholesalers continued to report difficult market conditions in the domestic market.

Trade demand remains solid

Vealer supplies remained very limited with numbers again confined to calf weights. Demand for these from the local, trade, retailers and restockers remained unchanged with solid market conditions remaining in place. The tight supplies of trade weight local yearlings were predominately grain assisted. Local trade and feeder demand remained similar with little or no change seen in prices. Demand from the feeder sector on medium and heavier local store steers and heifers was firm to the previous couple of weeks with little or no change realised in overall average prices

Lightweight grown classes, particularly steers enjoyed a strengthened restocker demand that improved values. Heavy weight steers and bullocks were predominately sourced from pastoral regions. Trade demand from both local and export processors remained similar and firm in these classes with little or no change seen in values. The strong demand that has been seen in cow classes over the past six months continued this week. The values of both prime local and pastoral cows remained equal, while plainer conditioned and lighter weights enjoyed an increased competition from the processing sector. Heavy weight bull prices were also unchanged on moderate supplies, while live exporters and export feeders remained active on lightweight drafts.

New South Wales
Numbers ease slightly

Total throughput eased 6% week-on-week as reported at markets by MLA’s NLRS. The largest decline was at Dubbo, being back 66% as rain affected movement throughout the drawing area. Inverell recorded a 27% decline with fewer young cattle yarded. In contrast CTLX lifted 40% on last week with numbers up across all categories. Casino increased slightly with predominately young cattle offered along with several grown consignments.

Despite a fall in supply competition was strong and feeders and restockers were competing for the better quality lines as the market generally trended dearer. Processors were also active trying to secure enough cattle for the winter months. Quality continues to be plain with a large portion of unfinished cattle available. Despite the general decline in quality there remain some well finished cattle available especially at Forbes and Tamworth.

Contributors across the state have generally left over the hook prices unchanged as supply is currently sufficient in meeting demand. Domestic and export demand continues to be the driver behind processors price levels as well as the general decline in quality available.

The majority of NSW indicators increased on the back of lower supply. The Eastern Young Cattle Indicator (EYCI) lifted 3¢ on 381.75¢/kg cwt. The vealer steer and vealer heifer indicators both strengthened 3¢ to settle on 213¢ and 209¢/kg lwt respectively. The heavy steer indicator had the largest increase up 6¢ on 195¢ while the only indicator to lose ground was yearling heifers back 2¢ on 197¢/kg lwt.

Prices strengthen

Prices reflected a reduction in yardings as buyers moved to secure cattle for the next few months. Medium weight vealer steers to restocker orders sold from 180¢ to 248¢ to average 248¢/kg. Medium weight vealer heifers pursued by processors sold 2¢ stronger on 202¢/kg.

Yearling steers sold mostly firm to dearer with light weight C2’s going to restockers from 208¢/kg. Medium weight yearling steers sold 3¢ higher on 206¢, while the heavy weight portion was firm to settle around 200¢/kg. Medium weight yearling heifers to feeder buyers ranged in price from 166¢ to 208¢ to average 191¢/kg. Heavy yearling steers to slaughter sold 6¢ higher on 189¢/kg.

The grown cattle market saw a mostly cheaper trend, with the odd exception due to quality. Medium weight grown steers to feeder orders were firm to average 192¢/kg. Good quality heavy grown steers were 5¢ dearer on 196¢, while bullocks settled on 191¢/kg. Light to medium weight grown heifers were mostly unchanged to average 173¢ and the heavy weight portion was 3¢ dearer on 179¢/kg.

Medium weight cows sold from 120¢ to 146¢ to average 135¢/kg. Heavy cows lifted 3¢ to settle around 147¢/kg. Heavy weight C2 bulls to slaughter sold from 125¢ to 176¢ to average 153¢/kg.

South Australia
Reduced Numbers

Following last week’s lower priced sale, the SA LE attracted a smaller mixed quality yarding of mainly young cattle. These sold to strong competition from the regular trade and export buyers. Feeders were also active on well bred yearling steers and heifers. Small numbers of vealers were penned with a heifer at 230¢/kg outselling the steers. Lightweight yearling steers were slightly dearer to restockers, while the trade sourced all C3 medium and heavyweights at improved levels. Yearling heifers tended to follow a similar pattern. Only small lines of grown and manufacturing steers together with grown heifers were penned, while cows tended to sell at dearer levels.

Naracoorte’s numbers fell in mixed quality runs and featured some excellent quality supplementary fed yearlings and beef cows which sold dearer. However, the price difference between good quality and plain quality moved further apart. Most of the usual SA and Victorian trade and export buyers were operating, albeit some on a limited basis due to the varying quality. Feeder and restocker orders were quite active as they sourced a mixture of young cattle, plain quality cows and some bulls.

Mt. Gambier’s numbers rose slightly after the improved prices that were paid the previous week. Overall quality tended to improve, this being most noticeable on the grown steers and cows which attracted improved prices. Some grown heavy steers sold at around 210¢ while some cows were selling over 150¢/kg. Young cattle quality remained quite mixed, with once again the price disparity getting wider on the better quality and plainer quality.

Erratic Trends

It was an erratically priced market, with few clear trends evident throughout the sales.

Vealer steers to the trade selling from 196¢ to 226¢, with B muscled sales dearer and the C muscled lower. Feeder purchases of C2 lightweights were between 195¢ and 208¢, or 8¢/kg dearer. Vealer heifers to the trade attracted prices mainly from 190¢ to 231¢ at prices unchanged to 12¢/kg cheaper. Feeders sourced C2 lightweights from 185¢ to 209¢/kg at dearer levels. Yearling steer B2 and C3 sales of medium and heavyweights with many having been supplementary fed, sold from 165¢ to 225¢ to be 2¢ to 5¢/kg dearer. Feeder C1 and C2 purchases were between 150¢ and 209¢. Yearling heifers C3 sales were from 160¢ to 215¢ at prices 1¢ to 8¢/kg more. Feeders sourced C2 heifers from 148¢ to 185¢, or 8¢/kg less.

Grown steer B2 and C3 sales to strong competition sold generally from 175¢ to 210¢, to be around 15¢ dearer and were averaging 343¢/kg cwt. The 3 to 5 score beef cows sold from 110¢ to 158¢ to be 4¢ to 5¢ dearer, and mainly 275¢ to 305¢/kg cwt.

Throughput higher

Throughput at MLA’s NLRS increased with the majority of markets indicating an increase in comparison to last week. The total states yarding was up 16% week on week and was 11% higher compared to the corresponding week last year. Wodonga young and grown markets both increased with the weekly total up 45%. Camperdown supply almost doubled while Ballarat yarded just over 200 head. Shepparton was 44% higher and Warrnambool had similar numbers week on week. The Colac and Pakenham markets also had a similar supply while Leongatha was back by 13% compared to last week.

Vealers were in short supply however those available were well conditioned heavyweights. Yearlings dominated supply across the majority of the young cattle sales with sufficient numbers of medium weight and heavy weights available. Heavy C3 and C4 grown steers and bullocks were increasing numbers and there were also more heavy grown heifers available. Medium weight cow numbers were slightly lower however heavy beef and dairy cow throughput increased.

Increased supply brought about greater selection for buyers with all the major restockers, feeders and processors present across most markets. Wodonga notably had a very good quality selection of young cattle available particularly some supplementary fed yearlings. Despite the improved quality there were reports of stock continuing to show the effects of cold wintry conditions.

Prices rally higher

There were few vealers sold to feed on with medium C2 steers selling for $619/head or 226¢/kg. Most vealer steers were heavyweights with the medium with the B2 steers gaining 8¢ to make 226¢ while the C2 steers improved by 6¢/kg. Medium C2 vealer heifers climbed 9¢ to 204¢ while the heavy B2 heifers were 2¢ dearer at 220¢/kg. The majority of yearling steers were heavy weights with the C3 steers gaining 5¢ and the C4 steers dearer by 2¢, both grades selling at 205¢/kg. Light yearling heifers sold to feeders for 183¢, being 11¢/kg up. Heavy yearling heifers were 1¢ dearer at 193¢ while D3 heifers were unchanged at 169¢/kg.

Heavy C3 grown steers and C4 bullocks gained 3¢ to sell at an average of 192¢/kg. Light grown D3 heifers sold unchanged for 155¢ while the heavy D4 heifers reduced 6¢ to make 159¢/kg. Heavy manufacturing dairy steers were 2¢ dearer at 158¢/kg. Medium D1 dairy cows sold for 116¢, being 3¢/kg up. Heavy D2 dairy cows were 3¢ up at 133¢/kg. Heavy D4 cows also gained 3¢ to make 149¢/kg. Heavy C2 bulls slip 4¢ to average 150¢/kg. Heavy C3 bulls gained 2¢ and sold for 167¢/kg.

A large lift in supply

A spell of fine weather combined with more rain forecast lifted supply at physical markets covered by MLAs NLRS by 54%. The very large yarding at the Roma store sale represented half of the total cattle penned in the state for the week. Young cattle continued to dominate the selling pens in the south of the state however in the north at Mareeba the slightly smaller supply consisted of predominately cows and grown steers.

Buyer representation in the young cattle sections was generally good nevertheless similar to previous weeks with restockers selective in their purchases. Butchers at Warwick lifted prices by 15¢/kg on a small selection of vealer heifers, while wholesalers were very active on supplementary fed yearling steers and heifers.

Feed lot buyers were keen to make purchases and at Dalby provided very strong buying strength against restockers on well bred heavy yearling steers an average prices for steers returning to the paddock improved by 5¢/kg.

A full gallery of export buyers was present and operating at most markets. However at mid week sales despite one export processor not operating to full capacity average prices managed to improve in places.

Some good bullocks were penned at late week sales, however average prices suffered due to a large number of plainer bullocks yarded. Plain cows continue to meet strong support from restockers as well as processors and slaughter lines managed to improve by a further 4¢/kg. A fair sample of good heavy cows across all markets for the week averaged 1¢/kg better.

Cows dearer

The largest numbers of calves returned to the paddock at 211¢ and sold to 228.2¢, while a fair supply of D muscle lines sold to the trade at 187¢/kg. The largest sample of vealer steers returned to the paddock at 217¢ the occasional well bred pen to 240.2¢/kg. Vealer heifers in the south of the state sold to processors at around 200¢ with the occasional sale to local butchers at 244.2¢/kg. A large selection of lightweight yearling steers returned to the paddock 6¢ dearer at 217¢ with sales to 234.2¢/kg. Medium weight C2 feeders averaged 209¢ while the top end quality of the C3s made to 227.2¢/kg. Heavy weights to feed averaged 194¢ while a large consignment returned to the paddock at 202¢ and sold to 205.2¢/kg some returning $1082/head. Lightweight yearling heifers were well supplied and restocker lines averaged 203¢ while feeder and slaughter classes generally sold in the low to mid-190¢/kg range.

Heavy grown steers to export slaughter averaged 183¢ and bullocks mostly sold around 179¢ with a few sales to 187.2¢/kg. Medium weight 1 score cows to processors averaged 4¢ dearer at 117¢ and a large number of 3 scores averaged 134¢/kg. Good heavy cows made to the occasional 163.2¢ with most 1¢ better at close to 151¢/kg.

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« Reply #230 on: July 29, 2012, 12:23:36 AM »

Friday, July 27, 2012
Weekly Australian Cattle Summary
AUSTRALIA - This report is a collection of weekly cattle price summaries from each Australian state by the Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA).

Massive lift in numbers
Numbers lifted significantly at physical markets covered by MLA’s NLRS as the drier conditions allowed for stock to be transported from a wide area. Producers took advantage of the fine weather and numbers swelled close to three times the previous week’s level.

Overall quality of the young cattle was generally good, being boosted by a large consignment of 1,000 vendor bred yearling steers and 570 heifers at the Roma store sale. The standard of the heavy steers and bullocks to export slaughter was generally good, while a mixed quality line-up of cows were penned. A large representation of buyers was present and operating in the young cattle sections, while at markets late in the week one export processor was absent from the buying panel.

Restockers provided strong support on well bred lightweight yearling steers and in places lifted values by 14¢/kg. However the sheer weight of numbers forced average prices to vary on lesser quality lines. Feeder categories of yearling steers and heifers generally remained firm. Heavy steers and bullocks to export slaughter could not maintain the improved prices of last week. Markets early in the week experienced a slightly cheaper trend, nevertheless as the week progressed and more numbers become available and average prices eased around 6¢ to 7¢/kg.

Plain cows received very strong demand from restockers and regardless of the increased supply prices remained very strong. However the better condition medium and heavy weight classes to slaughter averaged 2¢ to 6¢/kg less against the wet weather sales last week.

Export lines cheaper
Vealer steers returning to the paddock mostly sold around 4¢ dearer at 221¢ with sales to 239.2¢/kg. Vealer heifers sold to restockers at 205¢, while the largest numbers sold to slaughter in the 190¢ range with sales to 226.2¢/kg. A very large supply of lightweight yearling steers returned to the paddock 15¢ dearer at 227¢ with a number of pens making to 241.2¢/kg. Medium weights to feed averaged 202¢ and made to 222.2¢ and heavyweights generally sold in the 190¢ range with a few pens of well bred lines to 209.2¢/kg. The large selection of lightweight yearling heifers mostly sold to slaughter 4¢ dearer at 199¢, while restocker classes made to 212.2¢ to average 201¢/kg.

Heavy steers to export slaughter averaged 4¢ easier at 184¢, while some to the wholesale meat trade made to 200¢/kg. Over 1,000 good heavy bullocks across all markets averaged 7¢ less at 180¢ with isolated sales to 193.2¢/kg. Medium weight 2 score cows to restockers averaged close to 135¢ with sales to 142.2¢, while those to processors averaged 125¢/kg. Medium weight 3 scores averaged close to 138¢, while a large selection of good heavy cows lost 6¢ to average 143¢ with sales to 162.2¢/kg.

Western Australia
Seasonal conditions tighten
Seasonal conditions in the north and east of the pastoral regions remain reasonable. Mustering activity has resulted in increased numbers of cattle available for both live export from the north and the trucking of cattle to the south with solid supplies of cows being forwarded direct to southern processing plants.

The southern Agricultural districts have endured yet another week of predominately dry weather with only limited rain recorded with many areas set to realise the driest July since records began. Rain was limited to south western areas below Perth, south coastal and south eastern areas, but generally falls failed yet again to be larger than 10mm. Even in the traditional cattle growing areas of the southwest, the lack of solid winter rainfall has many producers worried looking forward in regard to dam storage levels where run off has been to this stage very limited.

Accompanied by the dry conditions have been very cold days and nights where wide spread and heavy frost has been common. This has adversely affected feed and crop growth with overcast conditions having minimised sunshine levels.

Physical market numbers were larger due to a solid spike in Muchea’s cattle numbers, along with slightly higher numbers in the Great Southern. Muchea’s yarding included solid supplies of pastoral cattle as would be expected at this time of year, while local slaughter grades remained in relatively limited supply.

Cow market strong
Vealer supplies remained limited and restricted to lightweight categories. Demand for these remains solid from local trade, retailer and restocker sectors with quality remaining mixed. There was a reasonable supply of supplementary fed trade weight yearling steers and heifers in the physical market. Once again there was solid demand recorded from the feeder and processor sectors, which resulted in both steer and heifer classes remaining similar in price to the previous week. Young local store grades recorded a slight weakening in the both feeder and restocker competition with prices falling from the high recent levels.

Once again the majority of heavy weight export grades of steers and heifers were sourced from pastoral regions. Quality was more mixed across both sexes and this resulted in a weakening in both processor demand and values. There remained reasonable quality and weight in both local and pastoral drafts of cows. Processor demand started the week at higher levels but this did fall as the week progressed. This resulted in the overall weekly average for heavy weight prime drafts remain in line with last week.

Yardings increase
Yarding’s increased across markets reported by MLA’s NLRS with 9% greater numbers week on week. Only two sales, Pakenham and Leongatha, had lower supply back 9% respectively. Shepparton had the greatest increase amongst the state with close to 42% more cattle. Wodonga young and grown cattle yarding experienced a combined increase of 19%. All other centres had slightly more numbers week on week.

Vealer steers were in lower supply as the majority fell into the heavy weight category and were suitable for the trade. Heavy weight vealer heifers also dominated the yarding with the majority of the C3’s going to the trade. Most the yearling steers and heifers were secured by processors and were well conditioned C3’s. Feeders were not as active securing less than previous weeks.

Heavy weight grown steers were also in good numbers as were bullocks with the C3 and C4’s of good quality despite the wintery conditions. Cows dominated the states supply and most were D4 heavy weights.

The usual panel of buyers was present and competing with the exception of one major export buyer being absent from the sale at Wodonga. Despite the increase in supply, competition amongst buyers remained strong enough to push most prices higher this week.

The vealer steer indicator gained 6¢ to be 225¢ however vealer heifers met a weaker demand and dropped 4¢ to 212¢/kg. Yearling steers performed strongly with the indicator gaining 11¢ to 211¢, yearling heifers also increased by 4¢ to 195¢/kg. Bullock prices generally held firm while cows gained 12¢ to make 147¢/kg.

Prices lift
Medium weight vealer steers to process lifted 2¢ to 203¢ while heavy B2 muscle lines eased 5¢ to settle on 221¢/kg. Heavy C3 lines to process varied from 200¢ to 249¢/kg. Medium weight C2 vealer heifers topped at 232¢ to settle on 202¢ while the heavy C3’s remained unchanged on 210¢/kg. Light yearling steers to restockers eased 2¢ to average 200¢ while medium weight C3’s to process lifted 11¢ to make 211¢/kg. The majority of yearling steers were heavy weights with C3’s to processors topping at 256¢ to make 210¢ while feeders paid an average of 180¢/kg. Medium C3 yearling heifers were stronger up 4¢ to average 195¢ while heavy weight C3’s lifted 7¢ to settle on 195¢/kg.

The majority of grown steers offered were heavy weights with C3’s averaging 195¢ and C4’s increasing 3¢ on 198¢/kg. Bullocks with C4 muscle scoring remained relatively firm on 194¢/kg. Grown heifers to processors eased 4¢ on 160¢ while heavy weight C4’s topped at 185¢ to average 177¢/kg. Medium D1 dairy cows ranged from 102¢ to 139¢ while D3 beef cows saw increased demand lifting 4¢ on 147¢/kg. Heavy D2 dairy cows remained relatively firm on 139¢ while heavy D4 beef cows lifted topped at 170¢ to make 156¢/kg.

South Australia
Larger Yardings
The improved prices paid last week drew a slightly larger yarding at the SA LE, with Naracoorte’s numbers rising over 1,200 head. Mt. Gambier’s numbers rose to just below 1,000 head.The SA LE’s mixed quality runs of mainly local and pastoral bred young cattle sold to fluctuating demand from the regular local and interstate buyers, with supplementary fed yearlings attracting the strongest demand. Feeder orders were active at generally lower levels. The few vealers yarded sold to very strong wholesale competition. Most C2 yearling steers and heifers sold to feeder activity. Heavy C3 yearling steers to processors sold at slightly lower levels, with the heifers basically unchanged. Cows in small lines sold below 119¢/kg.

Naracoorte’s quality tended to improve with some excellent quality supplementary fed yearlings attracting very strong competition. The cows sold at improved levels with all SA and Victorian trade and export buyers making purchases. Feeder and restocker orders were active on mainly young cattle and a few plain quality cows. Limited numbers of grown steers and grown heifers attracted improved prices. The cows sold to strong processor competition at up to 167¢/kg.

Mt. Gambier’s sale contained a mixed quality yarding of young cattle, improved quality runs of grown steers and a varying quality yarding of beef and dairy cows. These sold to strong SA and Victorian trade and export competition at dearer levels, with only isolated sales losing ground. Such was the strong competition that one pen of heavy bullocks sold at 198¢/kg and returned over $1,460/head. Beef and dairy cows remained unchanged with 169¢/kg the top price.

Most Categories Dearer
It has been a generally dearer sale week, with only isolated sales retreating. Vealer steers in limited numbers to the trade sold from 186¢ to 233¢ at prices averaging 15¢/kg dearer. Vealer heifers to the trade also on small lines sold from 190¢ to 230¢, or 2¢ to 4¢/kg more. Yearling steers with many having been supplementary fed sold from 200¢ to 233¢ with the grass feds 175¢ to 205¢ at prices generally 5¢/kg dearer. Feeders and restockers purchased C1 and C2 steers between 160¢ and 206¢/kg at varying prices. Yearling heifer C3 medium and heavyweights sold from 154¢ to 210¢, or unchanged to 11¢/kg cheaper with the medium weights most affected.

Grown steers C2, C3 and B2 medium and heavyweights to strong competition sold generally from 173¢ to 215¢ to be unchanged to 13¢/kg dearer, and mainly 325¢ to 370¢/kg cwt. Grown heifers to solid demand sold from 145¢ to 192¢ to be 7¢ to 13¢/kg dearer. The 3 to 5 score beef cows sold mostly from 115¢ to 169¢ to be 2¢ to 13¢/kg dearer, and generally 280¢ to 330¢/kg cwt. Heavy 1 to 3 score Friesian cows sold between 110¢ and 148¢/kg, or 250¢ to 308¢/kg cwt.

New South Wales
Throughput increases while quality remains plain
Throughput increased by 27% as reported at markets by MLA’s NLRS compared to last week with the majority of saleyards recording increases. The largest increase was recorded in Tamworth, with more than double the amount of cattle yarded. Forbes saleyards consisted predominately of young cattle with an increased total throughput of 74%, while Gunnedah lifted 66% on last week. CTLX was the only saleyard to record a decline in throughput back 14% with significantly less grown steers available.

The quality of cattle continues to be mixed approaching the back end of winter however yardings still continue to include predominately unfinished cattle. Supplementary cattle are becoming more wide spread as producers look to take advantage of the high prices. The regular buyers were present and operating at most saleyards although some export buyers were absent at both Scone and Gunnedah.

Processors this week left their rates unchanged as supply is beginning to tighten. Domestic demand is still weak prompting some contributors to look at potential maintenance breaks as good quality cattle are becoming harder to source.

At the close of Thursday’s market the Eastern Young Cattle Indicator (EYCI) strengthened by 4.25¢ compared to last week to settle on 387¢/kg cwt. Despite the increased throughput the majority of the NSW indicators increased. The largest increase was seen by vealer steers lifting 9¢ on 229¢, while yearling heifers weren’t far behind increasing 8¢ to settle on 203¢/kg. Yearling steers made 214¢ up 6¢ while the cow indicator lifted 2¢ to make 139¢/kg.

Prices lift slightly
The general price trend was higher this week across most saleyards however prices did vary due to quality factors. The limited D2 calves to restockers ranged from 197¢ to 241¢ to average 211¢/kg. Medium vealer steers to restockers lifted 3¢ on 220¢ while processors purchased C2 lines form 212¢/kg. Light C2 vealer heifers averaged 210¢ with the medium weights jumping 5¢ on 208¢/kg. Heavy weights to feeders averaged 208¢/kg. Light yearling steers saw increased demand strengthening by 7¢ to make 216¢/kg. Medium weight C2’s to feeders topped at 225¢ to settle on 209¢ with heavy weights averaging 204¢ up 2¢/kg. Yearling heifers to feed topped at 208¢ to make 192¢ while the medium weights experienced a decline back 6¢ on 192¢/kg.

Medium grown C2 steers to feed remained relatively firm on 194¢ while heavy weights to process eased 2¢ on 191¢/kg. Light grown C3 heifers were firm on 178¢ with heavy C4’s ranging from 164¢ to 189¢/kg. Medium D2 cows to processors topped at 152¢ to average 134¢ while the D3’s averaged 137¢/kg. Heavy weight dairy cows ranged from 90¢ to 120¢ while D3 heavy beef cows lifted 7¢ to settle on 148¢/kg.

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« Reply #231 on: August 03, 2012, 08:57:44 AM »

Thursday, August 02, 2012
Dairy Crisis Causing Farm Closures
SPAIN - During the last year over five hundred milk-producing farms in Galicia have been hit by a severe economic crisis. Around 12 farms have been disappearing a week as a result of the crisis. Galicia now counts some 10,648 farms, three times less than it was ten years ago, according to data provided by "La Voz de Galicia".

Most of the closures that occurred since 2000 were due to the infeasibility of small family farms. Over ten thousand farms that remain are now facing severe liquidity problems.

This month, farmers were paid for milk an average price of 0.285 euros per liter, between two and three cents less than the state average and a value less than 2001, before the introduction of the euro.

Analyzing the evolution of farms in the last decade shows that there are steep drops in years of lesser crisis. This is explained by the natural process of converting small family farms and also the crisis of urban unemployment. "There are young unemployed men in the city returning to the farm, farms that are being kept for subsistence," explains Javier Iglesias, a spokesman for livestock Agricultural Unions.

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« Reply #232 on: August 11, 2012, 09:38:55 AM »

Friday, August 10, 2012

Namibia Beef Exports Fall

NAMIBIA - Namibian beef exports dropped significantly in the first half of 2012 compared to the first six months of 2012. Volumes exported were 10,772 tons, less than half the amount exported in the same time frame last year.

Increased costs of production and decreased demand for beef had a major impact on young cattle price.

Production and prices suffered, due to the drop in export markets, but also due to lower domestic demand.

Competition for exports to South Africa was faced by Botswana selling excess beef onto the market at reduced prices.

Beef imports also fell as a result of the foot and mouth outbreak in South Africa as well as a partial ban applied by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Fisheries on beef imports.
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