March 13, 2023


Meat and Livestock Australia projects bigger cattle production in 2023



Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) has projected a year of growth for cattle production in the country this year, as Australia's cattle herd is expected to reach its highest level in nine years, resulting in a greater surplus of supplies for export, UK Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board reported.


It is anticipated that the Australian cattle herd will increase by 4.5% to 28.8 million head in 2023. Since prolonged droughts in 2020 reduced cattle herds to their lowest levels in 20 years, the herd is now maturing following rebuilds.


At 758,000 head, year-to-date slaughter levels are up 22%, reflecting increased cattle availability and rising cattle prices. Production is expected to remain high, at 2.1 million tonnes, with carcase weights predicted to remain above the 5-year average at 315 kg.


Due to decreased beef production in the US, beef markets are anticipated to remain tight throughout the upcoming year. Because of the size and regularity of domestic beef consumption in the US, fluctuations in production are particularly evident in trade volumes.


In 2023, the US might return to being a net importer, which would be advantageous for Australian exports to the US as well as to Japan and South Korea, two markets where the US and Australia compete for market share.


Australian exporters may also benefit from China's recent ban on Brazilian beef imports.


The MLA said that labour availability is a significant factor affecting Australian production. The possibility of insufficient labour could cause slaughter expectations to return to levels of 6 million in 2022. This might limit the supply of goods available for export.


-      UK Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board

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