A big rise in slaughter rates has pushed Australian beef and veal production for the March quarter up by 15% on the same quarter in 2013.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australian beef and veal production for January to March 2014 was 15% higher on last year, at 611,396 t carcase weights. Production in March alone totalled 219,175 t cwt, up 18% year-on-year and 15% on the five-year average.
Underpinning the increase was a rise in slaughter levels, with the total Australian adult cattle kill up 18% on March 2013, at 781,652 head, and the March quarter reaching 2.18 mill. head, up 16% year-on-year.
Across all states, beef and veal production was higher for the 2014 opening quarter, with Queensland (283,198 t cwt), NSW (135,189 t cwt) and Victoria (117,932 t cwt) up 15%, 13% and 22% on the same period last year, respectively.
Production across SA (32,033 t cwt), WA (26,250 t cwt) and Tasmania (16,794 t cwt) also increased, up 8%, 1% and 9% over the same period, respectively.
Driven by persistent drought conditions throughout much of Queensland and northern NSW, the total female cattle kill for the three-month period reached 1.085 mill. head (accounting for 50% of total cattle slaughter), up 25% year-on-year and the highest quarterly volume since June 2003.
This was supported by a significant jump in Queensland (442,639 head) - up 35% year-on-year and 48% above the five-year average.
The March quarter saw total adult slaughter levels increase for most states, with Queensland (up 18%), NSW (up 17%) and Victoria (up 20%) at 970,959 head, 476,195 head and 449,975 head, respectively, on the corresponding period in 2013.
Source: The Australian Bureau of Statistics