While many different factors contributed to the five per cent decline in average weekly yardings for 2011-12, the most prominent included: flooding across southern Queensland; producers continuing to retain breeding stock; and most recently, an increased flow of cattle going direct to works.
Weekly cattle yardings for 2011-12 averaged lower across all southern states, as numbers in Queensland averaged two per cent higher – albeit compared to a very low 2010-11.
Interestingly for Queensland, the two per cent increase was despite a series of cancelled markets during February and March, most notably in Roma and Longreach, as flooding created logistical issues in getting both cattle and buyers to markets.
NSW cattle yardings averaged five per cent lower year-on-year, with the main contributor a 26 per cent reduction during March, as flooding restricted sales throughout the state.
Average weekly yardings in Victoria were just below the same period in 2010-11.
Like NSW, flooding was the main reason behind the drop in the numbers offered, especially in the Gippsland region, despite drier conditions in the western region.
SA recorded the largest year-on-year decline, falling 16 per cent, while WA throughput slipped 12 per cent for the year.
The improved seasonal conditions across many areas of the eastern states continued to see producers retaining heifers, with both vealer and yearling heifer weekly average yardings declining seven per cent year-on-year.
In contrast, the vealer and yearling steer numbers for the same period increased one per cent.
Average weekly grown steer yardings for 2011-12 declined two per cent year-on-year, largely due to greater numbers bypassing the saleyards and going direct to processors.
Cow yardings declined seven per cent year-on-year, as producers continued to look to retain breeding numbers.
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