November 10, 2008


Queensland's beef production increases


Australian beef and veal production increased during September, as turnoff rates across Queensland increased for both male and female cattle.


Total production for September increased 3 percent year-on-year, to 183,439 tonnes cwt, taking production for the first nine months of 2008 to 1.64 million tonnes, 1 percent below the corresponding period last year.


Queensland male cattle slaughter for September increased 7 percent year-on-year, to 208,000 head, while female slaughter increased 6 percent, to 110,00 head, reflecting the lower than expected August result, partly due to the trucking strike.


The favourable seasonal conditions across much of central and south western Queensland throughout 2008 contributed to an increased supply of cattle across the state, especially from the NT and those that would have been finished in feedlots in previous seasons.


A continuation of these favourable seasonal conditions is expected to see higher numbers of cattle turned off during the final quarter of 2008 and early 2009, making up for the reduced slaughter during early 2008.


Adult cattle slaughter across the remaining states varied during September, with NSW and Victorian numbers up 1 and 3 percent, respectively, year-on-year, while slaughter declined 16 percent in SA and 8 percent in Tasmania.


WA (Wester Australian) producers continue to turnoff increasing numbers of cattle, with September slaughter up 15 percent, the sixth consecutive monthly year-on-year increase. WA adult cattle slaughter for the first nine months of 2008 was up 8 percent on last year, at 369,000 head, the highest level since 1983.


With turnoff rates expected to increase during the final quarter of 2008, annual beef production is anticipated to finish the year at similar levels to 2007, at around 2.18 million tonnes cwt.

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