AUSTRALIA – Numbers of Wagyu calves registered in 2014 rocketed up 13 per cent on the back of strong demand to make a new record.
A total of 7535 new calves were recorded in 2014, the biggest year since the breed first appeared in the Australian Registered Cattle Breeders’ Association listings in 1993.
This was the biggest increase of any of the major breeds, moving it to seventh in the beef breed hierarchy.
Elsewhere, overall beef breed registrations fell five per cent.
This is according to the Australian Wagyu Association (AWA), which is predicting growth to continue over the next five years at 14 per cent.
AWA chief executive officer, Graham Truscott, said: “The Wagyu breed is expanding rapidly as breeders, backgrounders, feedlotters, processors and exporters compete to obtain Wagyu cattle to satisfy demand from international and high end domestic outlets”.
Growth is fuelled by large operators such as JBS, AA Co and Stanbroke becoming more involved in Wagyu production, said the AWA.
Speaking at the World Wagyu conference in May, AA Co board chairman, Donald McGauchie, said: “Wagyu is our signature product. It is responsible for not only being a good revenue source, but a great deal more importantly, for influencing one of the most significant changes in direction the company has taken in almost 200 years of history.”
Wagyu is involved in 44 per cent of company revenue in the company’s half yearly results, he added.
He added: “There is going to be increasing demand for Wagyu in years to come so much so that I think we will really struggle to supply that potential demand.”
TheCattleSite News Desk