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  • Rikki Lambert

Your farmgate data for the week ending Friday 16 April 2021

Every week Flow brings you the latest farmgate data on commodities, summarised on air and via podcast.

The EYCI's record-breaking 900c mark was the big talking point this week, while overall livestock slaughter numbers picked up slightly after a run of falls, but not in the SA, Victoria or NSW numbers which all continue to fall. The slaughter numbers are still well down on 2020, though now approaching 2019 levels when they plummeted in late April.

The Australian Dollar remained steady at 76c.


The Eastern Young Cattle Indicator breached 900c/kg cwt for the first time in history, as yardings jumped 10,000 head more than the previous week. Whilst south-east Queensland was a major driver for that increase, Wagga contributed 1,846 to that lift.

In the Eastern States, the EYCI stands at 901.75c, up 15c on a week ago and 8.75c on the previous indicator.

Nationwide, restocker yearling steers are at 571c/kg liveweight (let), 165c higher than a year ago. This was the only category to move upwards in Wednesday's indicators, up 12.3c, while medium steers fell 17.7c to 387.7c. Vealer steers are at 526c (+130c), feeder yearling steers 472c (+85c) and trade yearling steers 465c (+85c).

South Australia

SA has the poorest price for feeder yearling steers at 435c, compared with NSW's 462.9c.

Despite a slight climb in numbers to 693 head, Mount Gambier's Wednesday sales volumes remained low. So too at Dublin Livestock Exchange, Tuesday's cattle numbers rose but were still well down at 350 head. Naracoorte, however, picked up 827 head to 1088 head on Tuesday.


Victoria has the strongest medium (409.8c, up 15.5c) and heavy (389c, +12.3) steer prices on the eastern seaboard, but lags in feeder yearling steers (455.1c, +19) behind NSW (462.9c) and Queensland (466.6c).

Vealer steer prices fell 26.1c to 463.6c.

Warrnambool's sales volume was small at 799 head, barely up on the previous week.

New South Wales

The Riverina was the standout contributor in the Flow broadcast area to higher beef prices this week, according to MLA. Wagga's 7-day EYCI rating was 947.27c, second only to Casino NSW at 1,029c, Scone 984.79c and Singleton 949.73c.

Sales at Wagga rose after a fortnight's break between trade, up 1,200 head to 3,200. MLA observed that feedlots were a driver across most categories, giving upward price momentum.

Vealer steer (538.7c, up 12.6c on last week), restocker yearling steers (649.7c, +114.1c) and processor yearling steers (471.8c, +4.6c) were the strongest prices in the nation, as were medium cows at 290.6c (-1.5c).

Southern NSW delivered the highest prices compared to other parts of the state for vealer, medium and restocker yearling steers, pipped only by the Hunter in the other categories.


MLA reports that sheep prices were down again this week between 18 and 66c across the categories, with restocker lambs now at 926c and merino lambs at 757c.

The Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator shows prices down 3 per cent to 818c/kg cwt.

South Australia

SA's lamb prices are generally inferior to other states across the board, though restocker lambs at 926c are in stronger shape than Victoria's 878c and WA's 693c. Prices fell in all categories, with restocker lambs falling hardest, down 99c on last week.

Naracoorte's yardings on Tuesday went through the roof, up 11,502 head to 16,552 comprised largely of lambs. A larger field of trade and processor buyers were present as well as active restockers.

Yardings at the Dublin SA Livestock Exchange shot up by 9,700 head - all sheep, not lambs - to 14,000 with strong competition and quality in the trade and restocker categories.

Mount Gambier numbers eased again this week to 1,907 head and quality fell away.


Victorian prices slid between 3-10% across the categories compared with the previous week, with merino lambs hit hardest (-84c to 737c) as were light lambs (-76c to 826c).

Horsham's yard volume was significantly up on the previous week, rising 5,503 to 17,434 head. MLA reports that quality was however mixed with prices $2 to $10 easier than the previous week.

Swan Hill yardings were up on Thursday, but to be expected after a 4-week break. MLA reports:

Similar sized yarding of 8,000 lambs after an extended break due to Easter. Mixed offering across all breeds of crossbred, Merino and Dorper, with all but the lead runs off grain showing the affects of the dry and colder weather. Processor demand was subdued, with not all exporters or domestic buyers operating and those in attendance were only interested in purchasing at lower price levels. As this market is being compared to the last sale held at Swan Hill in mid-March, price results appear significantly less

New South Wales

NSW lamb prices are the best in the nation in light (893c), trade (825c) and heavy (796c) lambs, and in the top performers in other categories.

Southern NSW prices were the strongest for light lambs and not far behind the other districts in other categories.

Wagga yarded 44,500 sheep on Wednesday, 1,500 more than the previous week, with a 3,000 rise in lambs offset by a 1,500 drop in sheep. Numbers jumped significantly as producers continued sowing or preparing paddocks for cropping.

Corowa however dropped 2,270 head to 12,800 after a fortnight's break due to Easter. Quality was however considered very good.

Grains and Oilseeds

Wheat prices in the US No.2 hard red winter wheat (fob Gulf) indicator rose 4 per cent to US$267/tonne, while NSW DPI reports that the state exported 656,024 tonnes in February, contributing an Australian February record of 2,687,014 tonnes exported.

AWB reported on Wednesday:

The past quarter has seen approximately 2.8Mmt of feed and malt barley exported from Australia alone, with Middle Eastern and Asian consumers our largest trading counterparts, taking advantage of our attractive pricing.
Despite recent tensions in barley and sorghum markets, China remains a crucial part of Australia’s wheat export program, and we expect this to remain a constant throughout the remainder of 2020/21.
Globally, the market remains feed grain driven, especially through Asia where the rebuilding of livestock numbers following the 2019/20 African Swine Flu outbreaks, as well as the stockpiling effect that COVID19 has had on the broader market.

Milling Wheat at Port Adelaide was steady at A$347/tonne, as was feed heat A$345 and feed barley A$293.

Canola rose 1.3 per cent to US$601/tonne. Australian canola prices have remained high after harvest, but local prices against international futures markets have fallen to multi-year lows.


Dairy's recent powder price gains slowed in the most recent 7 April trade data, with whole milk powder now at US$4,085/tonne, with cheddar cheese rising most, up 3 per cent to US$4,393/t.


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