Cow kill still driving high slaughter rates

Australian female cattle kill numbers driving four year high

Beef Cattle
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MLA statistics show that Australia's adult cattle kill is still at an all time high, with female cattle numbers a major driver.

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The latest Meat & Livestock Australia figures show that in May this year female cattle accounted for over 58 per cent of the national slaughter.

The figures show that the adult cattle slaughter reached a four-year high in May, with the increased levels driven by the number of female cattle going to processors. It is the fourth highest monthly total for female slaughter since 2010 at 456,000 head and year-to-date is the second highest in the last 10 years.

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Over the past five years, female carcass weights have averaged 66kg less than male carcass weights. This is predominantly due an emphasis on finishing steers, while selling cows as are.

The increase in female slaughter is putting pressure on the average adult carcass weights and therefore total production.

The latest female slaughter figures. Image courtesy MLA and ABS.

The latest female slaughter figures. Image courtesy MLA and ABS.

The national medium cow indicator has averaged 184.5/kg in 2019, and while this is 5% down on average 2018 prices, it is still 9% above the average price from the last 10 years.

Last week the national medium cow indicator rose 13c/kg to 223c/kg, 17c/kg above the same time last year. Young cattle price similarly strengthened, as the Eastern Young Cattle Indicator rose to 518.25c/kg.

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