Eastern states cattle slaughter confirms tight cattle supplies

16 December 2015


Eastern states cattle slaughter figures released this week were down 13% from the corresponding week last year, at 151,255 head – making 24 consecutive weeks of lower year-on-year processing.

While this illustrates the extent of the tightening cattle availability as a result of the slow emergence from drought conditions, viewing the data on a quarterly basis reinforces this message.

Normally, the average weekly kill in the final quarter of the year is higher than that of the first quarter, as illustrated in Figure 1 below. That trend this year however, has been reversed and, with only two weeks remaining, is averaging 6% below the first quarter.

ES-cattle-slaughter.jpg

Despite the fact the average weekly kill for the 2015 December quarter is below that of the March quarter and the corresponding quarter last year, it is, at just over 150,000 head, still relatively high.

This indicates that there still is a long way to go before eastern states weekly cattle kills drop closer to pre-2013 levels (circa 130,000 head), meaning that the downward slaughter trend will more than likely continue through 2016 – even without improved feed conditions.

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