Grainfed cattle account for nearly half of Australian beef slaughter

Buoyant cattle supply expected for 2023
calendar icon 27 February 2023
clock icon 2 minute read

In 2022, Australia's lot feeding sector solidified itself as a major component of the Australian beef supply chain, accounting for a record 47% of total cattle slaughter, according to a press release from Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA).

With the release of the December 2022 quarter lot feeding brief, a year-in-review analysis has been conducted by MLA’s Market Information team to gain insights into how the sector performed.

National capacity for cattle on feed in 2022 continued its upward trend, with the industry expecting to have space available for 1.532 million head in Q4 2022. That is assuming 100% utilisation, the release said. Compared to Q4 2021, a further 5.5% or 79,000 head of pen space was delivered in 12 months.

National capacity for Q4 2022 is 225,000 head higher than Q4 2018 – an increase of 17.2%. All states have experienced strong growth compared with five years ago. The most significant increase occurred in Queensland, with its current pen space 17% higher - a further 123,000 head - than Q4 2018. 

Total grainfed turn-off for 2022 reached 2.74 million head, the lowest yearly turn-off of grainfed cattle since the rebuild year of 2016.

Turn-off for 2022 remained firm year-on-year, although was 5%, or 140,000 head, lower compared to the five-year average.

Although actual volumes of grainfed cattle turn-off were down in 2022, its percentage as a total of slaughter reached a new record of 47% compared to grassfed. This further solidifies the critical role the lot feeding sector plays in not only dry years, but also during rebuild/retention years where cattle supply is tight.

Considering the significant number of cattle that entered feedlots and the record numbers on feed during certain quarters in 2022, continued buoyant supply of grainfed cattle is expected for 2023.

© 2000 - 2024 - Global Ag Media. All Rights Reserved | No part of this site may be reproduced without permission.