MAR­KET TRENDS

Central and North Burnett Times - - LIVESTOCK -

WHILE the past three weeks have seen the east­ern states cat­tle mar­ket deliver one of its largest price rises in re­cent mem­ory, un­der­pinned by wel­come rain­fall across sev­eral states, changes to other key mar­ket driv­ers have gone un­no­ticed.

The East­ern Young Cat­tle In­dex fin­ished Thurs­day at 348.5¢/kg cwt, while heavy steers reached 365¢/kg cwt, while the heav­ier end of the lamb mar­ket was above 580¢/kg cwt.

Al­though the 17% rise in the EYCI over the past few weeks was from an un­com­fort­ably low level, it also il­lus­trates the cat­tle mar­ket’s de­pen­dency on rain.

This week’s falls add to parts of NSW which have re­ported their best au­tumn break in sev­eral years, en­abling am­ple pas­ture growth and win­ter crop sow­ing.

How­ever, while the re­cent rain has re­ceived the head­lines, along with this week’s news of a Ja­pan-Aus­tralia Free Trade Agree­ment, the A$ has steadily risen to a 2014 high, touch­ing 94US¢.

Af­ter trad­ing ear­lier in the year around 90US¢, the re­cent rise will have added some dis­com­fort to the ex­port­ing sec­tor, es­pe­cially with the prospect of higher cat­tle prices, and thus beef prices in the pipe­line.

Ad­di­tion­ally, the Bureau of Me­te­o­rol­ogy pre­dicted a greater than 70% chance of El Nino con­di­tions form­ing in the sec­ond half of 2014. A pre­dic­tion his­tor­i­cally cor­re­lated with be­low nor­mal rain­fall across large parts of south­ern and in­land east­ern Aus­tralia dur­ing the sec­ond half of the year. Thus, while the re­cent good au­tumn break across most of south­ern Aus­tralia has been wel­come, the out­look sug­gests be­low aver­age falls for the rest of the year.

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