Meat & Livestock News

Eastern Australia Sees Surge in Cattle Supply Amid Improved Weather and Market Dynamics


  • A significant increase in cattle supply has been observed this week across eastern Australia, attributed to improved weather conditions and several market factors.
  • Producers are motivated by the current market peak, weight gain in cattle, cash flow needs, and the avoidance of fat penalties, leading to a surge in sales.
  • While some regions experience heavy rainfall, it’s not expected to impact current supply dynamics. Prices remain firm despite increased yardings, with some processors planning to expand capacity.

This week has seen a marked rise in the availability of slaughter cattle in eastern Australia, following a period of wet weather that had previously hampered deliveries. The improvement in weather conditions has facilitated a noticeable uptick in sales through both direct consignment and sale yard channels.

Several key factors are influencing producers’ decisions to sell at this time:

  1. The tail end of January’s challenging weather conditions created a backlog of slaughter-ready cattle, which are now being brought to market.
  2. Market analysts suggest that the cattle market may have reached its peak for the current cycle, prompting some producers to sell before a potential decline in prices.
  3. Cattle that benefited from November’s rainfall have gained sufficient weight and are now ready for sale, with producers keen to avoid penalties for excess fat cover.
  4. Financial pressures are also a consideration, with some producers needing to improve cash flow after a period of lower sales at the end of last year.

Despite recent heavy rainfall in parts of Queensland, this is not expected to significantly affect the current supply situation, as these areas are traditionally off-season for cattle turnoff.

Early this week, major sale yards reported a sharp increase in yardings, with numbers significantly up from the previous week. Prices have remained robust, even as supply has surged.

On the transport front, the increase in cattle movements is evident, with a notable presence of livestock carriers on major routes to feedlots, processors, and sale yards.

Regarding processor offers, most direct consignment grids remain stable, with some increases noted. Prices for certain categories of cattle have seen significant rises compared to last year, reflecting a strong market despite the increased supply.

Looking ahead, some Queensland processors are planning to expand their capacity, potentially adding further demand to the market. Due to local weather conditions, many processors have sought to supplement their operations with cattle from southern regions.

The cattle market in eastern Australia is experiencing a dynamic period, with weather improvements and market conditions driving a significant increase in supply. Despite this, prices have held firm, supported by steady demand and strategic sales decisions by producers.