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Cattle on feed hold above 1 million head

Cattle on feed for the July to September 2020 quarter remained stable at 1,010,320 head, recording a 128 head increase from June, according to the latest results of the Australian Lot Feeders’ Association (ALFA) and Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) survey.

New South Wales and Western Australia recorded increases, while all other states recorded declines in the number of cattle on feed.

New South Wales increased by 32,263 head, or 12%, while Western Australia increased by 842 head, or 2%. Queensland declined by 20,019 or 3%, on feed, Victoria decreased by 10,248, or 18%, and South Australia decreased by 2,711, or 7%.

ALFA President, Bryce Camm, said national feedlot utilisation remained steady in the September quarter at 70%, and above 1 million head, despite uncertain market dynamics,” Mr Camm said.

It’s a positive sign for the feedlot industry to see feedlot utilisation stabilise in line with the five year average despite market dynamics associated with improved seasonal conditions, herd rebuilding intentions and the uncertainly that COVID-19 continues to play on trading conditions,” Mr Camm said.

“National feedlot capacity reached a new record, increasing slightly from the June quarter to 1,449,200 head, demonstrating continued confidence in grain fed beef production and the resilience of lot feeders,” Mr Camm said.

Stephen Bignell, MLA Market Information Manager, said while cattle were dearer and closed 4% up, to finish at 406¢/kg lwt, wheat ex-Darling Downs eased 21% to average $338/tonne and barley averaged $298/tonne, a decline of 18% on the previous quarter.

“Lot feeders faced subdued supply and dearer feeder cattle due to strong restocker demand, however this was offset by easing grain prices factoring in improved harvest expectations and continued demand for finished cattle which supported prices through the quarter,” Mr Bignell said.

“The Queensland 100 day grain fed steer over-the-hook (OTH) indicator continued to trade at elevated levels, averaging 649¢/kg carcase weight (cwt) in the September quarter, 6% higher than the June quarter and 10% above year-on-year levels”, Mr Bignell said.



Bryce Camm President – ALFA (02) 9290 3700

Josh McIntosh Media Manager – MLA (02) 9463 9198

Click here to view the survey results in PDF and here to view statistics over time.


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