ON THE back of strong live export, feeder and processor interest, cattle markets north of the Tropic of Capricorn have started 2015 on a positive note, reports Meat and Livestock Australia.
Indicative feeder steer prices out of Darwin have been at high levels for the entire year, averaging $2.70 a kilogram (liveweight) this week, while feeder heifers have also held relatively strong prices over the same period, averaging $2.50/kg lwt this week. Highlighting the strength of the current prices, feeder steers and heifers each averaged close to $2/kg lwt just six months ago.
Adding to the strength of the market has been the growing expectations of tighter cattle supplies, particularly with cattle turn-off having been at record levels for over 18 months.
Similarly, a previously dormant live cattle port, Townsville, has become a hive of activity, with recent indicative feeder steer prices at $2.40/kg lwt and heifers at $2.20/kg lwt – all fuelled by the same supply and demand fundamentals.
In the meantime, similar lines at CQLX Gracemere saleyards continue to attract strong interest from feeder and paddock buyers, especially for the better conditioned stock. Last week, yearling steers reached a high of 232c/kg lwt, while yearling heifers made a top of 199c/kg lwt.