Rain Shrinks Cattle Turnoff

AUSTRALIA - Australian adult cattle slaughter fell sharply in January, as wet conditions throughout much of New South Wales (NSW) and Queensland limited turnoff, as processors continued to operate at reduced shifts or remain closed. National slaughter for the month was back 10 per cent year-on-year to 497,000 head, while beef and veal production declined eight per cent, to 138,140 tonnes cwt.
calendar icon 10 March 2010
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Meat & Livestock Australia

Adult slaughter declined 17 per cent in Queensland for January, to 167,000 head, nine per cent in NSW (128,000 head)_and eight per cent in Victoria (120,000 head) with widespread rainfall events across eastern Australia since Christmas allowing producers to hold cattle and igniting restocker demand, reports Meat and Livestock Australia.

At the end of summer, almost all regions of Queensland and much of northern NSW have recorded their best summer in decades, which has tightened cattle turnoff and kicked cattle prices. As at 10 March, the EYCI had risen 72.75¢, or 29 per cent, to 350.50¢/kg since reaching a low of 277.75¢/kg cwt in mid-December..

The rain induced contraction in supply comes at a time when many processors were already operating at reduced shifts, in an effort to combat difficult market conditions and lower cattle numbers. Emphasising the overall tighter supply of cattle, total slaughter has been back year-on-year for the past five consecutive months, with total numbers back seven per cent since September.

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