Eastern states cattle slaughter drops to August low

01 September 2016

Highlighting how tight cattle availability currently is, indicative eastern states adult cattle slaughter during August 2016 averaged just 118,743 head per week.

This is not only the lowest August average since MLA started collating eastern states slaughter numbers (1999), but the average number processed is comparable to months populated with numerous public holidays, like April and December.

August average weekly cattle slaughter was down year-on-year across every state:

  • Queensland – 63,948 head, down 23%
  • NSW – 25,336 head, down 27%
  • Victoria – 19,346 head, down 21%
  • SA – 6,462 head, down 30%
  • Tasmania – 3,652, down 17%  

From August to September there is usually (70% of the time) a rise in the average weekly kill, as the spring flush and northern cattle turnoff reach an annual peak. Despite coming from an already low base, the September trend this year is looking to follow the unusual path and be lower than August. The widespread winter rainfall and full moisture soil profiles, setting the expectation for abundant feed availability when temperatures begin to rise, will more than likely lead to producers opting to retain cattle and take full advantage of feed levels not seen by many for years. This will also go a long way towards assisting prices throughout spring.

Click here to view MLA’s weekly slaughter indicators, and if you would like to subscribe to receive the report please email marketinfo@mla.com.au

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