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Australian Cattle Slaughter Hits Record High

15 May 2013
Meat & Livestock Australia

AUSTRALIA - Cattle slaughter in Australia for the first quarter of 2013 reached 1.87 million head, up seven per cent year-on-year and the highest first quarter total since 2009, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics data released late last week.

With the widespread dry conditions placing pressure on producers, the eastern states slaughter information collected by Meat and Livestock Australia’s NLRS for April and May indicates that the second quarter kill will also be very high, most likely exceeding 2 million head for the quarter.

MLA analysts say that driven by the surge in cattle throughput, production was also up for the first quarter, totalling 532,842 tonnes cwt, up four per cent year-on-year and six per cent on the five-year average.

With the dry conditions causing a higher proportion of unfinished lines into works, average adult carcase weights fell to 277kg/head during March, back four per cent year-on-year and the lightest average carcase weight since September 2010.

The value of Australian beef and veal export for the first quarter of 2013 exceeded A$1.1 billion - up 11 per cent year-on-year, underpinned by a significant jump in volumes over the first quarter.

Reflecting exports to each destination, the value of shipments to Japan were down three per cent year-on-year, to A$289 million while the US suffered a 17 per cent decline, to A$209 million, MLA say.

In contrast, the value to China rose ten-fold, to A$135 million and to Korea, the value increased 15 per cent year-on-year, to A$144 million.

Values to the EU were up 39 per cent year-on-year during the quarter, at A$33 million, with the improved access to the grainfed quota boosting values.

Shipments to the Middle East were up 88 per cent, at A$71 million, driven by a substantial increase in value to Saudi Arabia, with the first quarter total reaching A$29 million.

TheMeatSite News Desk

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