Low female slaughter and heavier carcase weights major influences in MLA’s April Cattle Projections
20 April 2017
Low female cattle slaughter and high carcase weights have set the scene for 2017, with these two components filtering through to influence the 2017 April Cattle Industry Projections. While the January estimate of 7.1 million head cattle slaughter remains, much heavier carcases will go a long way to alleviating the constrained supply pressure, with the result being only a slight (1%) year-on-year decline in beef and veal production.
Female cattle slaughter over the November 2016 to January 2017 period was the lowest proportion of the adult cattle kill ever (at 42%) - highlighting strong producer intentions to retain females and replenish liquidated herds. Even though the rainfall outlook isn't very optimistic for some regions, taking into account just how low female slaughter is, it is evident that the national herd rebuild is underway, with many producers likely to take advantage of the currently low fodder and grain prices to carry stock through.
Recent rainfall has rejuvenated the cattle market, with the higher year-on-year prices likely to carry through for the next quarter. Thereafter, and in line with the usual seasonal decline, the Australian cattle market will probably start to feel the pressure of what will be the beginning of the slow increase in the national herd, and ongoing softer global market conditions.
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