Cow slaughter slows further in October

09 December 2015

The tightening Australian cattle supplies saw adult cattle slaughter down again during October, with 750,518 head processed – 12% below the same time last year.

The big drop was in the female kill, down 19% year-on-year, at 335,234 head and evident of how low the national breeding herd numbers are, considering pasture availability is still very limited.

Male slaughter was also lower during October, yet to lesser extent (down 6% year-on-year) than females, at 415,284 head. Male slaughter down less than female is more than likely a trend we will continue to see for the remainder of 2015 and throughout 2016.

The contribution of females to adult cattle slaughter during October fell to a level that indicates intentions to restock for the first time in two years, at 45% (Figure 1.). This is particularly interesting, considering how poor pasture conditions are across large swathes of the country, and further emphasises how low the national breeding herd has become.


Monthly beef production followed suit with slaughter, and was down 12% from the corresponding month last year, at 211,038 tonnes cwt. This takes the volume produced for the year-to-October to 2.1 million tonnes cwt, steady with the same time last year, but 2015 will more than likely finish below the 2014 record.

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