Queensland Carcases Reach Record High

AUSTRALIA - The average weight of adult cattle carcases processed in Queensland during January reached a record high of 306.6kg/head – up 1.8 per cent or 5.3kg/head year-on-year, according to Meat and Livestock Australia.
calendar icon 12 March 2012
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Meat & Livestock Australia

The record average carcase weight was largely a reflection of the sustained favourable season across much of Queensland and northern NSW, with many producers opting to retain stock to make the most of ample feed.

Nationally, average carcase weights increased 1.2 per cent year-on-year, to 287.9kg/head, and while this was 4kg/head below the national record of 292kg/head set in October last year, it was still the highest January on record. For January, average weights were up across all states, with the exception of Victoria, with New South Wales falling just shy of its highest monthly average on record, at 289.2kg/head.

Assisted by the higher average adult carcase weights during the month, total beef and veal production for January reached 145,856 tonnes cwt – an increase of three per cent on the five-year average and 17 per cent on January 2011.

However, any comparison to January 2011 production or slaughter volumes needs to take into account the unprecedented flooding throughout southern Queensland last year, which limited both the operational capacity of processors and the ability to transport cattle.

The emphasis on retaining female cattle for herd rebuilding continued in January, with female adult cattle slaughter for the month totalling 214,000 head – 13 per cent below the average for the past five years. Since July 2011, total Australian adult female cattle slaughter has fallen by 10%, to 1.7 million head, the lowest female throughput for the July – January period since 1996-97.

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