Aust beef production worth over $16 billion a year

Beef Central, 27/09/2017


A new “fast facts” summary released by Meat & Livestock Australia this week provides an updated snapshot of the Australian beef industry and the dominant role it plays within Australia’s agricultural economy.

The off-farm domestic and export value of Australian beef and cattle turnoff in 2016-17 was worth $16.85 billion, according to ABS data cited in the report.

The report shows there were 47,021 agricultural businesses running cattle in Australia in 2015-16, with the cattle industry accounting for 55 percent of all business with agricultural activity in Australia.

Other key numbers:

National cattle numbers as at June 2016: 25 million head

Beef cows and heifers aged one year and over as at 30 June 2016: 11.5 million head

Number of people employed in the red meat sector (on-farm, processing and retail): Around 200,000 people

Annual production: In 2016-17, Australia produced approximately 2.07 million tonnes cwt of beef and veal (ABS).

Grainfed cattle production: In 2016-17, 2.7 million grainfed cattle were marketed, representing 39pc of all adult cattle slaughtered.

Domestic consumption: Australians ate around 26kg of beef per person in 2016-17, making Australians the sixth-largest consumers of beef in the world

Share of retail meat sales: Beef had the highest share of retail sales of any meat in 2016-17, with around 36pc share of fresh meat sales (by value).

Export volume: In 2016-17, Australia exported 68pc of its total beef and veal production to 77 countries, and exported 907,965 live cattle.

Export value: The value of total beef and veal exports in 2016-17 was A$7.1 billion, with Australian live cattle exports were valued at A$1.2 billion in 2016-17 (ABS), with 907,965 head exported.

Australia’s place in the world: Australia has approximately 3 percent of the world’s cattle and buŒffalo inventory, with India, Brazil and China taking the top three places. Australia produces 3pc of the world’s beef supply and is the third largest beef exporter in the world.

  • See the full Australian beef industry Fast Facts report for 2017 on MLA’s website here


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  1. Tim Lloyd, 27/09/2017

    Not bad for a self replacing industry that converts the Suns energy into a quality consumable exportable product!

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