New record for cattle on feed
21 November 2018
Cattle on feed at the end of the September 2018 quarter surpassed the record set in the June quarter, rising to 1.13 million head, which was an increase of 6,000 head (or 1%). Licensed capacity also climbed to a new record of 1,309,905head, with global demand for high quality grainfed beef supporting investment in the sector.
The nation’s feedlots continue to play a crucial role in smoothing fluctuations in supply. In a year marked by prolonged dry conditions in eastern Australia, consistently high numbers on feed have mitigated the risk of production variability.
Notwithstanding significant feedlot profitability headwinds, primarily in the form of rising grain costs, grainfed beef exports benefited from growing global consumption as well as a depreciating A$. Grainfed shipments to Korea and China set new records during the quarter, while Japan also recorded strong growth.
September quarter export volumes to Japan lifted 9% year-on-year, to 41,150 tonnes shipped weight (swt), while exports to Korea rose 6%, to 16,734 tonnes swt. In our third largest market for grainfed beef and star performer, China, quarterly export volumes rose 184% on the same period last year, to 13,768 tonnes swt.
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