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Australian Beef Production Driven by Higher Female Slaughter

16 June 2014
Meat & Livestock Australia

AUSTRALIA - Australian beef and veal production during April reached 189,383 tonnes cwt – up two per cent year-on-year and 11 per cent on the five-year average, according to Meat and Livestock Australia.

This pushed the fiscal year-to-April total 11 per cent higher than last year, at 2.02 million tonnes cwt according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

MLA said that driving the rise in production was cattle slaughter, with numbers up two per cent on last year and 14 per cent on the April five-year average, at 686,041 head, carrying the volume from July 2013 to April 2014 up 13 per cent, at 7.19 million head.

In April, beef production across most states remained either steady or increased on last year, with NSW (41,831 tonnes cwt) up six per cent, while Victoria (37,304 tonnes cwt) and Tasmania (5,614 tonnes cwt) increased 23 per cent and 16 per cent, respectively. Volumes in WA (7,074 tonnes cwt) remained steady with April last year, while Queensland (88,547 tonnes cwt) and SA (9,011 tonnes cwt) were the only states to register a decline, back six per cent and five per cent, respectively, on year-ago levels.

As the ongoing dry conditions continued to place pressure on producers to offload greater numbers earlier than anticipated, average Australian adult cattle carcase weights were lower during April, down two per cent year-on-year, to 270.91kg/head. Underpinning lower carcase weights for the month was generally poorer conditioned cattle in the north and a rise in female slaughter, which was up 9 per cent on last year, totalling 362,658 head.

The female cattle kill in Queensland (156,165 head), NSW (76,814 head) and Victoria (86,164 head) increased six per cent, 14 per cent and 18 per cent, respectively, on 2013. In contrast, total Australian male cattle slaughter was back five per cent year-on-year, to 323,383 head.

April saw adult cattle slaughter vary across all states, with Queensland (313,221 head), SA (32,301 head) and WA (27,989 head) back five per cent, nine per cent and two per cent, respectively, on last year, while NSW (149,821 head), Victoria (142,416 head) and Tasmania (20,293 head) increased 6 per cent, 18 per cent and 13 per cent, respectively.


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