August 18, 2003



Australian Cattle Market: Prices Slip As Supply Increases


Prices for major cattle types in Australian saleyards settled lower last week, undermined by increased offerings, marketing concern Meat & Livestock Australia Ltd. reported last Friday.


Offerings rose 11% in Queensland, the major beef producing state, particularly of older male cattle, it said in a weekly market review.


In the U.S., the biggest export market by volume, the beef import market was steady, with limited offerings of Australian and New Zealand products serving to tighten supplies, it said.


Almost two-thirds of Australian beef production is exported, making it a major world beef exporter and making export demand an important driver of prices in domestic saleyards.


In the U.S., Australian frozen 95 chemical lean bull beef rose 3 cents this week to US$1.04 a pound, including carriage, insurance and freight, down from US$1.09/lb a year ago.


Frozen 90CL cow beef was unchanged at US$0.99/lb, level with a year ago.


The free on board prices in Australia for these products rose 5 cents to A$3.15 a kilogram estimated dressed weight and and fell 5 cents to A$2.97/kg free alongside.


In Australian saleyards, a national price indicator for cows suitable for U.S. trade slipped 4 cents to close the week at A$2.48 a kilogram estimated carcass weight, still up from A$2.19 a year ago.


MLA told of a quiet week in Japan, the second biggest export market by volume.


Prices in Japan for Australian chilled grassfed fullsets fell 4 cents to close the week at US$1.55/pound, including carriage and freight, still up from the year-ago level of US$1.21/lb.


The estimated free on board price for this product in Australia lost 25 cents to A$4.78 this week, also up from A$4.51/kg free alongside a year ago.


In Australia, a national price indicator for the type of beast suitable for Japan slipped 6 cents to close at  A$3.07/kg, still up from A$2.61/kg a year ago.


Meanwhile, a national price indicator for the type of beast suitable for the South Korea trade lost 7 cents to close the week at A$3.04/kg.


A national price indicator for domestic trade steers lost 5 cents to A$3.29/kg, still up from the year-ago level of A$2.76/kg.

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