Beef Production Slips in April

AUSTRALIA - A run of disrupted processing weeks contributed to Australian beef and veal production during April contracting two per cent year-on-year, to 156,860 tonnes cwt.
calendar icon 7 June 2012
clock icon 2 minute read
Meat & Livestock Australia

While the Easter and ANZAC Day holiday periods shortened working weeks throughout the month, processor demand was also constrained by sluggish export demand, while reduced female turnoff continued to limit available numbers.

The largest year-on-year decline in production was in NSW and SA, both down seven per cent, while volumes in Queensland slipped one per cent, to 81,597 tonnes cwt – making up 52 per cent of total production. Despite the decline in April, total beef and veal production for January to April remained one per cent above the corresponding period in the previous two years, at 670,614 tonnes cwt.

Reflecting the very strong trend since January 2010, female adult cattle slaughter fell seven per cent year-on-year during April, at 234,000 head. For the past 28 months, adult female cattle slaughter has fallen year-on-year for 22 of these months, continuing to indicate producers are firmly entrenched in herd rebuilding. For the first four months of 2012, adult female cattle slaughter has just exceeded 1 million head – 18,000 head below the corresponding period in 2011 and the slowest start to a year since 1996.

In contrast, male cattle slaughter in April increased one per cent year-on-year, to 301,000 head, with increases in Queensland, NSW, Victoria and Tasmania. A lift in male cattle throughput in 2012 has largely offset the decline in female numbers in 2012, with slaughter for the first four months up two per cent, or 22,000 head, at 1.277 million head – the highest start to the year since 2008.

Reflecting the seasonal trend, average adult cattle carcase weights eased from March to April, but still remained well above the previous year, averaging 287.1kg/head – almost 15kg heavier than the five-year April average.

TheCattleSite News Desk

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