Yearling steer prices back off

Yearling steer prices back off, but feedlot demand remains strong

Beef
Bowyer and Livermore Livestock agent Brittany Scholz with 27 Angus steers which averaged 421kg to return $1744 or 414.2c/kg at Carcoar on Tuesday. Photo: CTLX

Bowyer and Livermore Livestock agent Brittany Scholz with 27 Angus steers which averaged 421kg to return $1744 or 414.2c/kg at Carcoar on Tuesday. Photo: CTLX

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Good quality, black steers still attracting more than 400c/kg.

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Yearling steer prices have backed off by varying degrees in the past week, but lot feeder competition remains strong.

George and Fuhrmann managing director, Darren Perkins, Casino, said the price had come off its peak for a number of reasons.

"We're seeing a lot more cattle come out of central Queensland now and there's also the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19," Mr Perkins said.

"Last week we saw yearling steers get a bit over 400c/kg, this week we've seen them back to 360c/kg to 380c/kg."

He said traditionally prices also dropped during the shorter week leading up to Easter. However, the price drop did not necessarily indicate demand for yearling steers had eased.

"There are still plenty of feedlot operators vying for those sort of cattle, they've just got more selection from other states now," Mr Perkins said.

"Obviously Casino being so close to the border of Queensland, we are more protected because we do get Queensland buyers."

He said they had seen a couple of thousand head at the saleyards in recent weeks, but things could change in the next month.

"We've had a very, very big sell off in this area in the past six or eight weeks, our numbers are certainly going to drop dramatically, I believe by May onwards," Mr Perkins said.

Bowyer and Livermore stock agent Todd Clements said yearling steers were 4c/kg to 5c/kg cheaper at Carcoar this week.

"We still had yearling steers sell for 420c/kg this week, that's still very good, especially considering what's going on at the moment," Mr Clements said.

"We're very lucky that we've had good rain and people have grass to put cattle on, otherwise it would be very ordinary."

He said it was lot feeders and backgrounders driving the yearling steer market at Carcoar as well.

The demand restricting processor competition was that exporters were mostly bidding on cows and bullocks.

Mr Clements said there was more rain for the district forecast and this could lead to a drop in numbers in the coming weeks.

Delta Livestock agent Scott Hall said the Wagga Wagga market recorded a mixed yarding of 3500 cattle this week, including 1000 cows. Yearling steers sold to a firm to cheaper market, depending on quality, and some restocker-type steers were cheaper by up to 15c/kg.

"The better quality held their own, but once the quality went off the prices definitely followed," Mr Hall said. "We still saw handy, black feeder steers make that 400c/kg mark."

He said again it was lot feeders driving competition with processors getting a bid in on heavier articles.

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