Australian beef and veal production for the 2012-13 fiscal year surged 6% year-on-year, reaching 2.2 million tonnes cwt – breaking the previous record by 1%, or 15,296 tonnes cwt, set back in the 2006-07 (Australian Bureau of Statistics).
Driving the increased production during 2012-13 was the drought induced adult cattle slaughter, reaching 7.8 million head, up 9% year-on-year and hitting the highest level since the similarly drought affected 2007-08.
Highlighting the impact of the widespread poor seasonal conditions on herd rebuilding during 2012-13 after a run of good seasons, was female slaughter up significantly (15%) year-on-year, at 3.5 million head. Female slaughter in Queensland (1.4 million head), NSW (0.7 million head) and Victoria (0.8 million head) were each up 15% year-on-year.
Male slaughter was also higher, although to a lesser extent, with 4.3 million head killed in 2012-13, up 4% year-on-year and 6% on the five-year average, as most states registered an increase.
While production and slaughter was higher, average adult carcass weights decreased 2% year-on-year for 2012-13, to 283kg/head cwt, underpinned by a higher proportion of females and unfinished cattle slaughtered.