Bouncing dollar a concern for livestock markets

IT COULD be an interesting final two months of 2011 for national cattle and lamb markets, with the recent rebound of the dollar the adverse market influence that could serve to offset what could possibly be the second consecutive wet finish to the year, according to Meat and Livestock Australia.

While global beef demand is still well below the corresponding period last year, available cattle supplies will be a major focus for the remainder of the year, especially if there is an early start to the northern wet season, an MLA spokesman said.

In contrast, for the lamb market, the real test of buyer demand will come when the first sustained run of hot weather arrives across the southern states, which in many previous years had already occurred by late October, he said.

This week the EYCI edged back above 400c, as the continued above average season across almost all regions, combined with forecasts for more rain across key regions, sustains demand from restockers and feeders.

However, the rising sentiment was not matched for the heavier export categories this week, with 500-600kg steers falling 7c nationally, to 349c/kg cwt, while direct to works prices for heavy steers (300-420kg cwt) in Queensland slipped 2c, to 358c/kg cwt, according to MLA.

Lamb prices were mixed this week, as light lambs averaged 14c higher nationally, at 505c/kg cwt, while trade and heavy lambs contracted 3c and 11c, respectively.

The past three consecutive weeks has seen in excess of 160,000 head yarded at MLA’s NLRS reported markets, 14pc above the corresponding period last year.

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