Eastern states cattle slaughter steady

23 February 2016


Eastern states weekly cattle slaughter consolidated the previous week’s sharp decline and stabilised at 132,906 head this week.

Interestingly, the five-year (2010-2015) average weekly cattle kill is 139,000 head, and after the start to 2016, the indicator looks set to hover at or just below that figure for the duration of the year.

This is little surprise, considering the Australian cattle herd is now in the wake of the drought inflated cattle processing of 2014 and 2015. In fact, when these two years are isolated, the average weekly kill jumped to 157,400 head – meaning 18,400 head, or 13% more cattle were removed from the system each week.

While 2016 has been a slower start to cattle processing than the past two years, the numbers aren’t unprecedented and are actually very similar to the same time in each of the years from 2009 to 2013.

Across the states the number processed varied week-on-week:

  • Queensland lifted marginally (2%) to 59,036 head, yet was still 27% or 22,309 head below the number processed in the same week last year
  • NSW declined 3%, to 32,229 head
  • Victoria followed suit and eased 2% to 28,806 head
  • SA remained steady at 8,163 head
  • Tasmania declined 4%, to 4,779 head

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