June 16, 2011


Australian beef output rebounds in April



Australian beef and veal output hit 160,154 tonnes cwt in April, back 16% on March and 8% on year, with the number of processing days lessening significantly by the Easter break, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.


The decline was despite a relatively drier month through northern NSW and Queensland, which would have assisted throughput.


Production was back across most states; 5% lower on year in Queensland, 11% lower in NSW, 16% lower in Victoria and down 9% in WA. In contrast, SA recorded a 5% lift on a year-ago levels, while Tasmania was up 1%.


Reflecting the vastly improved season, adult cattle carcase weights continued to rise in April, averaging 3% higher on year at 285kg/head, with Queensland by far the heaviest at an average 300kg/head. Driven by the heavier cattle coming forward through the eastern states, carcase weights for the year to date are now at their heaviest on record, at an average 286.5kg/head.


Production for the year to date is level with a year-ago, at 665,685 tonnes cwt, but back 3% against the five year average. Adult slaughter was down 3% over the same period, driven by a sharp fall in female slaughter as improved seasonal conditions encourage producers to rebuild herds.

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