Rain Hits February Beef Production

AUSTRALIA - Australian beef and veal production for February fell eight per cent year-on-year, to 300,941 tonnes cwt. The widespread rain throughout January and February, largely focussed on Queensland, had producers withholding cattle from markets, accentuated by logistical difficulties due to flooding, which reduced the available supply of cattle to processors.
calendar icon 14 April 2010
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Meat & Livestock Australia

According to Meat and Livestock Australia, February beef and veal production declined 16 per cent year-on-year in Queensland (67,125 tonnes cwt), two per cent in New South Wales (39,184 tonnes cwt) and eight per cent in Victoria (32,812 tonnes cwt), as all states received much needed rain. In contrast, volumes increased two per cent and 38 per cent in West Australia (9,683 tonnes cwt) and South Australia (9,491 tonnes cwt) respectively.

With total adult cattle slaughter for the month back nine per cent year-on-year, to 590,000 head, female numbers contracted 11 per cent - largely due to the influence of the rain and increased demand for breeders from restockers. While adult male turnoff declined seven per cent year-on-year, male slaughter levels in Queensland declined 17 per cent, which was a combination of producers withholding cattle from sale to capitalise on the rapid turnaround in seasonal conditions and limitations on transporting cattle due to flooding.

After the first two months of 2010, Australia’s total beef and veal production is back eight per cent on the previous year, at its lowest level since 2002, at just over 300,000 tonnes cwt. The lower production has had an impact on exports, with shipments for the first quarter of 2010 back 14 per cent, to 188,368 tonnes swt.

Australian beef and veal production is forecast to fall four per cent in 2010 to 2.045 million tones cwt, with exports forecast to be back six per cent to 875,000 tonnes swt (MLA’s Industry Projections).

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