Weekly kill: QLD slaughter grids surge 40-65c, hitting blistering new record highs


Jon Condon, BEEF Central (AU)



AFTER five or six weeks of little change, slaughter cattle price grids issued by southern Queensland processors have exploded again this week, rising 40-65c/kg in places to yet another round of blistering record highs.


Several major operators since Monday have grids in place offering 760c/kg for four-tooth heavy steer (one of those offers for HGP-only – deduct 10c for implanted steer), with heavy cows now 720c.


Beef Central’s weekly kill report last week showed the same descriptions at 710c/kg and 655c/kg, respectively.


It means that a typical heavy slaughter cow 300kg without too much waste, is this week worth $2160 before grid penalties, while a 350kg four-tooth grass ox is worth a cool $2660. This time last year, processors were quoting 620c/kg on four-tooth ox, and 550c on heavy cows. That represents a phenomenal 140c/kg and 170c/kg rise on those descriptions in 12 months.


Central Queensland grids have also risen this week, but are typically 10c behind the southern Queensland quotes listed above, restoring the ‘normal’ regional freight differential in the state.


Southern states’ grids are mostly unchanged this week. They now align reasonably closely with offers in Queensland – but to put that into context, the south has been well above Queensland rates for the past few months of winter.


Several factors appear to be in play in this week’s sharp grid price rises:


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