THERE was a modest 1.1 percent rise in the number of cattle on feed across Australia during the March quarter.
The latest quarterly survey results released today by the Australian Lot Feeders Association and Meat & Livestock Australia,show numbers have reached 1,158,240 head.
Previous cattle price buy-in pressures together with stubbornly low utilisation rates across the quarter has meant cattle on feed has remain steady – which analysts said was a theme likely to continue in the short term.
ALFA President Barb Madden said the national numbers had remained firm quarter-on-quarter.
Numbers on feed in Victoria, NSW and WA rose by 29 percent, 23pc and 10pc respectively, while Queensland numbers dropped 4.6pc or 31,096 head across the quarter.
We’ve seen an adjustment in Queensland numbers on feed reflective of market conditions and previous cattle buy-in pressures that have impacted margins,” Mrs Madden said.
“The good news is our national capacity grew yet again with a further 22,689 head or 1.5pc throughout the March quarter to total 1.56 million head, reflecting further investment and confidence in the role feedlots play in Australia’s beef supply chain,” she said.
MLA senior market information analyst Ripley Atkinson said year-on-year grainfed beef export figures for the quarter were in good shape.
“Australia’s quarter-on-quarter grainfed exports for March this year have remained steady – but when you look at year-on-year numbers we’re seeing a lift of 6pc or 4313 tonnes, and that’s encouraging,” Mr Atkinson said.
On the cattle supply side, while feedlot buyers experienced reduced feeder steer availability through the saleyards during the quarter, average weights were at a record high.
Click here to access Beef Central’s recent Top 25 Lotfeeders feature.
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