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Heavier Cattle Lead to Higher Production

26 February 2013
Meat & Livestock Australia

NEW ZEALAND - Beef production (from adult cattle) lifted 4 per cent in 2012, to 596,699 tonnes cwt, despite adult cattle slaughter remaining almost steady compared with 2011, at 2.26 million head (Statistics NZ).

Male cattle were heavier every month compared with the previous year, while female cattle were heavier in 10 out of the 12 months.

A 4% increase in cattle slaughter in the South Island (643,926 head) was not enough to offset a 2 per cent decline in North Island processing (1,615,890 head).

Bull and steer slaughter increased on both islands (up 6 per cent nationally, to 1.05 million head), while there was a 9 per cent fall in female slaughter in the North Island, which resulted in a national fall of 6 per cent, to 1.21 million head.

In the final quarter of 2012, however, there was a sharp increase in adult cattle slaughter, after a slow period in late winter and early spring.

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