AUSTRALIA - In March, Australian beef and veal production totalled 219,175 tonnes cwt, up 18 per cent year-on-year and 15 per cent on the five-year average, taking the 2014 first quarter 15 per cent higher on last year, at 611,396 tonnes cwt according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Meat and Livestock Australia said that underpinning the increase was a rise in slaughter levels, with the total Australian adult cattle kill up 18 per cent on March 2013, at 781,652 head, and the March quarter reaching 2.18 million head, up 16 per cent year-on-year.
Across all states, beef and veal production was higher for the 2014 opening quarter, with Queensland (283,198 tonnes cwt), NSW (135,189 tonnes cwt) and Victoria (117,932 tonnes cwt) up 15 per cent, 13 per cent and 22 per cent on the same period last year, respectively. Additionally, production across SA (32,033 tonnes cwt), WA (26,250 tonnes cwt) and Tasmania (16,794 tonnes cwt) also increased, up 8 per cent, 1 per cent and 9 per cent over the same period, respectively.
Driven by persistent drought conditions throughout much of Queensland and northern NSW, the total female cattle kill for the three-month period reached 1.085 million head (accounting for 50 per cent of total cattle slaughter), up 25 per cent year-on-year and the highest quarterly volume since June 2003.
This was supported by a significant jump in Queensland (442,639 head) – up 35 per cent year-on-year and 48 per cent above the five-year average.
The March quarter saw total adult slaughter levels increase for most states, with Queensland (up 18 per cent), NSW (up 17 per cent) and Victoria (up 20 per cent) at 970,959 head, 476,195 head and 449,975 head, respectively, on the corresponding period in 2013.
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