CATTLE prices have generally stabilised in the past week, however some categories of young cattle such as vealers have lifted in value.
Vealer prices across NSW in the past week have averaged 451 cents a kilogram (liveweight), which is 16c/kg high than a week ago and 182c/kg dearer than this time last year, according to Meat and Livestock Australia figures.
The restocker buyers continue to push up the market for unfinished yearlings with prices averaging 450c/kg this week.
Meanwhile, processors have eased off price pressure which shifted the market for finished yearlings down 4c/kg to average 409c/kg.
Ray White Emms Mooney agent Harry Larnach, Blayney, said the lift in the number of feeder steers available in the past week had pushed the price back a bit at Carcoar prime sale on Tuesday.
"Although the heavy feeders, say 450kg to 500kg, are still selling well," he said.
"That's because they are harder to come across at the moment."
Mr Larnach estimated most of the feeder steers (excluding the heavier types) were 5c/kg to 10c/kg cheaper and the MLA report quoted the top at about 428c/kg.
Meanwhile, vealers were still in limited supply at Carcoar and as a result Mr Larnach said they were selling to very strong demand from local butchers and the trade buyers.
Pitt Sons agent Gary Olrich, Tamworth, said overall the market was dearer across most categories during the Tamworth prime sale on Monday.
He highlighted feeder cattle as a standout in the offering.
"There were some really good runs ... offered to a full contingent of buyers," he said.
"The feeders steers made up to 420c/kg ... and feeder heifers sold up to 400c/kg as well."
Ray White VC Reid Livestock agent Scott Reid, Forbes, said the dearer sale last week brought a few more cattle onto the market at Forbes on Monday.
He said this meant feeder and processor steers were a bit cheaper, while restocker cattle were firm.
"Steers sold from 370c/kg to 420c/kg, which was back 10c/kg, and the heifers made 350c/kg to 410c/kg," he said.
Taking a wider view of the market, NAB Agribusiness economist Phin Ziebell cautioned that while the strength in the restocker market was high amid improved seasons in many areas, Australia's cattle market could not remain detached from global fundamentals forever.
"With Australian cattle prices moving in the opposite direction to beef prices globally, prices will likely fall once restocker demand is met," Mr Ziebell said.
He said there was substantial risks for the sustainability of cattle prices amid the global pandemic.
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