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Higher Weights Boost Beef Production In October

16 December 2010
Meat & Livestock Australia

AUSTRALIA - Australian beef and veal production during October increased by three per cent year-on-year, influenced by the better season and heavier carcase weights, while adult cattle slaughter increased one per cent, to 645,530 head.

Total production for the month reached 187,300 tonnes cwt, taking volumes for the first 10 months of 2010 to 1.78 million tonnes cwt - 0.3 per cent lower than the corresponding period in 2009 (Australian Bureau of Statistics).

However, Meat and Livestock Australia say that while adult slaughter of October was up one per cent year-on-year, numbers remained seven per cent below the five-year average (697,000 head).

As a lack of suitable slaughter ready cattle in 2009 reduced throughput levels, the very wet 2010 and efforts by producers to retain breeding stock has been behind the historically tighter numbers in 2010.

For the first 10 months of 2010, total adult cattle slaughter is back three per cent year-on-year, and on track to be the lowest calendar year total since 1996.

While adult female slaughter during October was virtually unchanged on 2009 numbers at 282,800 head, it was 10 per cent below the five-year average (315,000 head).

With the very wet season in 2010, eastern states producers have been enticed to retain additional females, with slaughter for January to October back 5 per cent year-on-year, to just above 3 million head - the lowest level in four years.

The greatest reduction has been in Victoria, which was back 16 per cent year-on-year, with NSW numbers down 10 per cent.

Queensland female turnoff was up 3 per cent for the 10-months to October, but remained 1 per cent below the five year average.

The drought conditions in WA continued to see additional females turned off, with numbers for October up nine per cent on the same period last year and 15 per cent on the five year average.

Average carcase weights continued to be higher during October, the reflection of the much better seasonal conditions being experienced throughout eastern and northern Australia. Nationally, average weights for October jumped three per cent or 7.1 kg/head on the corresponding period last year, to 284.7kg/head, with Queensland averaging 299.8kg/head (up 4.7kg/head year-on-year).

TheCattleSite News Desk



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