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Drought Forces Australian Cattle Slaughter Up

30 April 2015
Meat & Livestock Australia

AUSTRALIA - Adult cattle slaughter in Australia is continuing at a rapid pace driven by the on-going drought conditions.

Meat and Livestock Australia said that included as part of the high slaughter for the year-to-date have been two of the three highest eastern states weekly kills on record – which were the weeks either side of the shortened Easter work weeks.

The market analysts said that given the relentless drought conditions for many producers further than a few hundred kilometres from the coast, it has been little surprise that for the first 17 weeks of 2015, eastern states adult cattle slaughter was 2.61 million head, up five per cent, or 125,000 head, year-on-year, based on weekly slaughter data collected by MLA’s NLRS.

The two states driving the higher slaughter were New South Wales, with 664,000 head slaughtered, a rise of nine per cent or 57,000 head, and Victoria with 518,000 head, and increase of 12 per cent, or 54,000 head year-on-year.
Queensland continued to account for the greatest portion of the nation’s slaughter, with the year-to-date figure up 6,000 head year-on-year, with 1.12 million head killed.

Also contributing the higher cattle turn-off has been nearly 1,000 more cattle slaughtered in Tasmania with a total of 77,218 head and 7,000 head more in South Australia with a total of 150,000 head.

MLA said that given the reasonably widespread rainfall over the past fortnight across New South Wales and Victoria, and the very positive Bureau of Meteorology three month rainfall outlook, the Victorian, South Australia and New South Wales contribution may start to decline over autumn.

In contrast, with the wet season window for effective rainfall over in Queensland, the state’s slaughter is likely to remain relatively high through the winter months.


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