Meat & Livestock News

AuctionsPlus Records 14-Month Low in Cattle Listings Amid Market Volatility

One of black-and-white dairy cows looking at worker of farmhouse out of fence of cowshed while eating hay

AuctionsPlus, a prominent online livestock trading platform, displayed a sharp 40% drop in cattle listings last week, with numbers plummeting to just 6,352 head. This marks the lowest level of offerings since August 2022, aside from the usual seasonal lows during Easter and Christmas.

The decline is noteworthy, particularly as it follows a period of market disruptions caused by wet conditions and a Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) outbreak last year.

Despite the reduced volume, the market showed signs of resilience. The clearance rate surged by 17 percentage points, settling at 59%.

This uptick in demand was most evident in the mid-weight steers and heifers categories, which not only posted strong gains but also experienced higher-than-average clearance rates. On the flip side, the market for heavy steers and heifers softened.

In the steer category weighing between 200-280kg, the offering shrank to 629 head but saw an average price increase of 25c/kg, or $101 from the previous week. The clearance rate for this category improved to 79%, up from last week’s 64%.

Prices fluctuated between 152c and 315c per kg. A notable transaction involved 83 Angus steers from Hernani, NSW, averaging 213kg, which were sold for $775 or 314c/kg and are now en route to a buyer in Sunshine Beach, QLD.

For steers in the 280-330kg range, the offering was smaller at 839 head but registered an average price hike of 27c to 255c/kg. The clearance rate stood at an impressive 84%. Prices varied from 192c to 311c per kg. In one transaction, 45 Angus steers from Pirron Yallock, Victoria, averaging 291kg, fetched $700 or 240c/kg and will be heading to a buyer in Hamilton, Victoria.

The heifer category also saw market shifts. Heifers weighing 200-280kg had a reduced offering of 563 head but experienced an average price increase of 7c to 184c/kg. The clearance rate was 50%. Prices ranged from 149c to 220c per kg.

For instance, 48 Angus/Brangus heifers from Springsure, QLD, averaging 262kg, were sold for $390 per head or 149c/kg and will be transported to a buyer near Blackall, QLD.

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In summary, while the market is grappling with reduced cattle listings, demand remains robust in specific categories. The industry will be closely watching how these trends evolve in the coming weeks, especially given the past volatility caused by weather conditions and disease outbreaks.