The Eastern Young Cattle Indicator (EYCI) and Western Young Cattle Indicator (WYCI) both achieved 1029c/kg carcase weight (cwt) this week, just shy of previous records set.
Over-the-hooks prices also reached new highs, highlighting processors' abilities to pay a little more, with Queensland and New South Wales prices increasing significantly since the week before.
The impressive results across all categories are reflective of the confidence in the market. This comes as Australia's seasonal conditions continue to improve, along with the fact that global beef supply is low and demand for product continues to improve from key markets.
The volatile young cattle weight trend has driven restockers to pursue lighter animals this year, with average restocker weights declining by 24kg, from 296kg to 272kg, since January.
Given how high the market is, producers are evidently seeking lighter cattle in order to capitalise on the feed in front of them and attain a margin by reducing the initial investment on cattle.
The constant upward trend of the market has proved to be beneficial for producers willing to trade. Consequently, it could be argued that the lower weights have triggered higher prices paid per kg, helping to assist the strong indicator performance.
Forecast rainfall through spring and warmer temperatures mean ideal weights gain conditions for cattle. Restockers are likely to send lighter cattle resulting in a continued offload of young cattle by producers to cash in on this demand, according to MLA.
MLA reported that on the international front, demand for Australian product should remain strong as significant supply shortages out of South America continue and global foodservice activity ramps up.