Dry Spring Causes Autumn Slaughter Increase

AUSTRALIA - Adult cattle slaughter numbers reached the highest monthly levels seen since June 2010 in October and overall beef production rose 9 per cent year on year, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
calendar icon 12 December 2012
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Meat & Livestock Australia

Adult cattle slaughter during October reached its highest level since June 2010, finishing the month at 691,300 head – 11 per cent higher year-on-year and 1 per cent above the five-year average.

The hot and dry conditions across most of eastern Australia throughout the first half of spring contributed to the increased turnoff in October, with the higher throughput extending into November and early December (according to MLA’s NLRS weekly slaughter report).

Underpinning the increase was higher slaughter in all states except WA, which fell 8 per cent year-on-year, to 33,700 head. Queensland (329,100 head) and NSW (154,300 head) slaughter levels surged 8 per cent and 20 per cent year-on-year, respectively, while Victoria (120,300 head), SA (38,000 head) and Tasmania (15,800 head) all registered an improvement in comparison to October 2011.

Female slaughter accounted for 41 per cent of total adult kills during October, finishing the month 20 per cent higher year-on-year, at 284,100 head. For the ten months to October, female slaughter is tracking 2 per cent lower than the same time last year, at 2.683 million head, while for the same period, total slaughter has increased 1 per cent, at 6.137 million head.

The increase in slaughter during October underpinned the 9 per cent year-on-year rise in beef production, which reached 199,094 tonnes cwt. Average national carcase weights remain relatively unchanged from October 2011, at 288kg/head cwt, with Queensland weights (304kg/head cwt) still ahead of the other states.

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