Cattle slaughter steadies in May, but still historically high

08 July 2015

Australian adult cattle slaughter in May was steady with the same time last year, at 829,587 head, although remained 13% above the five-year monthly average (Australian Bureau of Statistics). Of this, females made up around 53% of the national kill, which was slightly (one percentage point) higher than May last year, but up eight percentage points on the five-year average.

At a state level, Queensland slaughter was unchanged, at 397,844 head, while NSW totalled 168,535 head (up 1% year-on-year) and Victoria registered 168,607 head (back 1%). SA slaughter lifted 6% compared to year-ago levels, to 42,246 head, however WA was 4% lower, at 31,499 head. Tasmanian cattle slaughter held firm in May, with 20,856 head processed.

With May slaughter volumes relatively unchanged and average cattle carcase weights also firm (at 276kg/head), Australian beef production consequently saw very little movement compared to the previous year, totalling 228,893 tonnes cwt. Queensland production lifted marginally (1%), to 113,886 tonnes cwt, while NSW was steady at 46,560 tonnes cwt and Victoria eased 2%, to 43,085 tonnes cwt. SA gained 8% however, at 11,873 tonnes cwt, while WA eased 8%, to 7,743 tonnes cwt and Tasmania produced 5,745 tonnes cwt of beef.

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