Numbers on feed back slightly
16 August 2016
The latest ALFA/MLA feedlot survey results reflect the tightening pool of available feeder cattle and record high prices being paid. For the June quarter 2016, survey results indicate there were almost 911,000 cattle on feed, back 0.4% on the previous quarter and well below the 998,000 head peak at the end of 2015. However, numbers on feed remain historically high and were still 60,000 head above the June quarter five-year average.
Despite the record number of cattle on feed at the end of 2015, it appears many of these remained on feed through to the second quarter of this year. In the first three months of 2016, grainfed turnoff declined 13% year-on-year – particularly impacted by lower numbers in Queensland – but the latest results indicate a June quarter record turnoff of 712,500 head, up 3% year-on-year.
Furthermore, at a time when grassfed cattle slaughter has been in decline, during the 2015-16 financial year grainfed cattle turnoff reached a record 2.82 million head, accounting for 35% of the national cattle slaughter. The record number of grainfed cattle coming through the system was also reflected in grainfed beef exports, which were up 7% year-on-year in 2015-16, at almost 269,000 tonnes swt (DAWR).
Since the end of the June quarter, further rain and a favourable outlook has seen supplies continue to tighten and restockers compete head-to-head with feeder buyers. With the Eastern Young Cattle Indicator (EYCI) now in excess of 700¢/kg cwt, it is likely the number of cattle on feed will continue to contract throughout the rest of 2016.
- For a comprehensive overview of the June quarter ALFA/MLA feedlot survey results, click here for the latest edition of the quarterly Lot feeding brief
- To subscribe to the quarterly Lot feeding brief email, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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