Fast Facts on Australian Beef: 2013

Vital statistics from the world's third biggest beef exporter have been crunched by analysts at Meat and Livestock Australia for the year 2013.
calendar icon 4 November 2014
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The off-farm meat value of the Australian beef and cattle industry is $12.3 billion (consumer expenditure plus export value).

Herd Facts and Figures

• 77,164 properties with cattle (ABS Agricultural Commodities 2011-12).

• 28.5 million cattle and calves (ABS Agricultural Commodities 2011-12).

• 13.6 million beef cows and heifers (ABS Agricultural Commodities 2011-12).

• The cattle industry involves 57 per cent of all farms with agricultural activity.

People in the Industry

• Around 200,000 people are involved in the red meat industry, including on-farm production, processing and retail.

How Much is Produced?

• In 2012-13, Australia produced approximately 2.2 million tonnes cwt of beef and veal (ABS).

• In 2012-13, 2.6 million grainfed cattle were marketed – 33 per cent of all adult cattle slaughtered.

What is the Value of Production?

• The gross value of Australian cattle and calf production (including live cattle exports) is estimated at $7.4 billion (ABARES 2012-13).

• Cattle contributed 16 per cent of the total farm value of $47.3 billion in 2011-12 (ABARES Agricultural Commodities June 2013).

• The direct contribution of beef and live cattle to gross domestic product was approximately 1 per cent in 2012-13.

Domestic Value and Consumption

Japan and Indonesia represent huge markets for beef and live cattle exports respectively

• Domestic expenditure on beef was approximately $6.6 billion in 2012-13 (MLA estimate).

• Australians ate around 32.5kg of beef per person in 2012-13 (MLA estimate).

• Around 94 per cent of Australian fresh meat buyers purchased beef in 2012-13 (AC Nielsen Homescan).

• In volume terms, beef is the second most popular fresh meat consumed through the foodservice industry after chicken (BIS Shrapnel).

Export Value and Volume

• In 2012-13, Australia exported 67 per cent of its total beef and veal production to over 100 countries (DAFF/ABS).

• The value of total beef and veal exports in 2012-13 was $5.06 billion (ABS).

• Australian live cattle exports were valued at $590 million in 2012-13 (ABS).

• The beef industry (including live cattle) contributes 13 per cent to the total farm export value of $40 billion (FOB) (ABARES Agricultural Commodities June 2013).

Australia’s Place in the World

• Australia has 3 per cent of the world cattle inventory, with India, Brazil and China taking the top three places (USDA 2012).

• Australia produces 4 per cent of the world’s beef supply, and is the third largest beef exporter in the world (USDA 2012).

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