Australia's herd build has continued to show signs of rejuvenation as low female slaughter rates persist and bull sale results begin on a high note.
This is according to Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) who said the female slaughter rate (FSR) was a technical lead indicator of whether the national herd is operating in a rebuild or liquidation stage.
The FSR tracks the number of female cattle processed compared with the total as a percentage.
MLA senior market information analyst Ripley Atkinson said in the June quarter, albeit slightly higher than the lowest figure in a decade in quarter one, the national FSR sat at 44 per cent.
"Over the past 12 months, the FSR has averaged 44pc nationally which supports MLA's current cattle projections for a 5.6pc rise in national numbers in 2022 due to the high retention of females," Mr Atkinson said.
"We're seeing producers retaining a higher percentage of females on farm which will drive a longer-term positive outlook for the strength of the rebuild with larger calf drops for each season moving forwards."
He said a strong start to the bull selling season demonstrated producers intend to retain a larger number of females on-farm.
"Across large parts of the eastern seaboard, on average the 2022 spring bull sale season, clearance rates and numbers of bulls offered and sold have also been high," Mr Atkinson said.
"The correlative relationship between producers purchasing more bulls during this selling season and the lower FSR's demonstrates producers either intend to or have females available to be joined to increase their herd numbers on-farm.
"Whilst at a general level, averages across most sales have been higher, demonstrating medium-term confidence in the industry for producers to invest in genetics and improve the performance of their herds."
He said individual state figures were a good indication of producer's rebuilding attitudes.
Queensland and South Australia were both operating significantly lower than the national average at 35.1pc and 34.7pc, whilst NSW's FSR in Q2 was 41.7pc.
Mr Atkinson said the effects of the retention of females and larger numbers of females joined won't be fully felt until those calf drops reach processor weights from grass or complete their feedlot programs.
"But the results promote confidence for the medium term in both availability of supply and producers' outlook," Mr Atkinson said.