New-look slaughter report highlights diverging trends
13 September 2016
Weekly slaughter figures are collected across Australia* through an ongoing survey conducted by MLA’s market information team (and its predecessors) dating back to 1990. The information provides a timely measure of week-to-week and longer period changes in the supply of slaughter livestock.
The report has recently been refreshed to improve the readability and to more clearly illustrate trends through graphs.
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This week’s report clearly illustrates the tight availability of slaughter cattle, prompting grids in NSW and Queensland to increase this week, as recent rain holds cattle in paddocks and accentuates the effects of an estimated 20-year low herd – eastern states weekly cattle slaughter was back 7% from the previous week and 28% below this time last year, at 112,500 head.
In contrast, despite wet weather, the spring flush of new season lambs is beginning to hit the market, with the Victorian kill increasing 20% on the previous week, to 165,000 head. However, with eastern states total lamb slaughter at 348,000 head last week, there is still about 50,000 head capacity to be filled until slaughter returns to levels recorded over the 2014 and 2015 spring peaks.
In addition, eastern states:
- Sheep slaughter was back 11% year-on-year, at 96,000 head
- Goat slaughter was 64% below last year’s seasonally high base, just shy of 15,000 head
- Pig slaughter was up 5%, at nearly 81,000 head
Data is collected through a weekly survey but aggregated information reflects the vast majority of processing capacity across Australia, most notably an estimated 95% of cattle slaughter. In addition, the survey is conducted in line with independent ISO 90001 quality certification.
*except WA where only sheep and lamb slaughter has recently commenced being reported
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