Following the record production in October, Australia’s beef and veal production fell during November, as wet conditions across much of eastern Australia saw turnoff rates decline. Production in November declined 8% year-on-year, to 181,737 tonnes cwt – the lowest November volume since 2003 (Australian Bureau of Statistics).
The widespread rain across several states during November contributed to a 7% decline in adult cattle slaughter, to 672,000 head, as producers withheld stock in order to capitalise on the improving seasonal conditions.
Interestingly, male cattle accounted for most of the decline in adult slaughter for the month. Male slaughter fell 16% year-on-year, possibly due to the 7% surge in male cattle turnoff in the previous month. Queensland male cattle slaughter in November declined 13% year-on-year, to 190,000 head, while kills in NSW and Victoria fell 18% and 30%, respectively.
Female cattle slaughter for the month increased 5% year-on-year, to 319,000 head, as an 11% fall in Queensland was offset by increases in NSW, Victoria and WA.
Given the improvement in seasonal conditions in late 2008 and the early annual closure of processors, beef and veal production in 2008 is anticipated to fall below the 2.15 million tonnes swt recorded in 2007.
Source: MLA – Meat & Livestock Australia