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Australian Beef Production Continues to Climb

16 April 2015
Meat & Livestock Australia

AUSTRALIA - Australian beef production has risen year-on-year for the 29th consecutive month with February levels reaching 216,821 tonnes cwt, a rise of six per cent according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Meat and Livestock Australia said that two factors have driven the increase in beef production.

Firstly, as dry conditions persisted across much of the country in February, slaughter continued at historically high levels, with 768,276 head processed across the month, a rise of three per cent year-on-year.

Secondly, average carcase weights rose by two per cent, to 282kg/head, possibly because the portion of males making up the kill increased from 49 per cent, in February last year, to 50 per cent.

MLA said that female slaughter, however, that made up the remaining 50 per cent, is still historically high, well above the 47 per cent five-year February average.

The high number of cattle on feed could also be contributing to the slightly higher average carcase weights, MLA analysts said.

They added that not surprisingly, the growth in beef production flowed through to increased exports, with 106,054 tonnes shipped during February, up by six per cent year-on-year.

Weekly NLRS eastern states indicative adult cattle slaughter remained high in March, averaging a little over 172,000 head, up three per cent week-on-week.

While just 136,000 head and 141,000 head were processed during the short weeks either side of the Easter break, this is still eight per cent and 55 per cent, respectively, above the two short weeks one year ago.

Looking forward, if the high supplies, which have consistently put downward pressure on prices for almost three years, tighten, cattle prices will find further support.

With the Bureau of Meteorology forecasting April through to June rainfall to be above average for much of the country, this may occur. In fact, the latest update of the MLA cattle industry projections have beef production contracting in the last three quarters of 2015.

TheMeatSite News Desk

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