- - news, features and articles for the meat processing industry


Australian Cattle Slaughter Reaches Highest Level in 25 years

25 August 2014
Meat & Livestock Australia

AUSTRALIA - Throughout 2010-11 and 2011-12, excellent grazing conditions in Australia saw two years of a declining turn-off and a growing national herd.

Subsequently, stocking rates in northern Australia between 2009-10 and 2011-12 were the highest in the 20 years up to 2009-10.

However, according to ABARES Australian beef: financial performance of beef cattle producing farms, 2011-12 to 2013-14, after the beef cattle herd (excluding dairy) reached 26.5 million head in June 2013, the failed northern wet season in 2012-13, and continued dry conditions throughout 2013-14, significantly reduced pasture availability across a large area of northern Australia.

Subsequently cattle turn-off and slaughter increased.

Meat and Livestock Australia said that ABARES have forecast cattle and calf slaughter for 2013-14 to have increased by 13 per cent year-on-year – the highest slaughter figure since 1978-79.

In particular, female cattle slaughter increased 21 per cent, and males and calves increased by five per cent and 11 per cent respectively.

ABARES have now estimated the beef cattle herd (excluding dairy) to be 25.4 million head as of June 2014, down by four per cent on 2013, as a result of the continued dry period.

Over the same period cattle prices fell significantly, with ABARES highlighting the fall in prices due to the increase in slaughter, an increase in the share of cows on offer, poorer condition of animals available and low demand from restockers.

TheMeatSite News Desk

Top image via Shutterstock

Our Sponsors


Seasonal Picks

Meat Cuts and Muscle Foods - 2nd Edition