Higher cattle turn-off, particularly in Queensland and northern NSW during 2013-14 is likely to offset reductions in saleyard cattle prices, and result in a small increase in total farm receipts for Australian beef producers, according ABARES (Farm Performance: broadacre and dairy farms,2011-12 to 2013-14).
ABARES reports, however, that this increase is projected to be more than offset by increased expenditure on fodder, fuel and freight costs, resulting in 2013-14 farm cash income for beef industry farms declining to $44,000 per farm, approximately 30% below the ten-year average.
In addition, the report suggests the reduction in the number of cattle on hand is projected to result in a further reduction in the value of on-farm inventories, and a decline in farm business profit for beef industry farms, at an average loss of $43,000 per farm in 2013-14.
This follows the 2012-13 trend, where lower average sale prices for beef cattle resulted in average beef cattle receipts declining 15%, which was partly offset by lower interest payments. However, with higher fodder costs, average farm cash income declined to $47,700 per farm.
Additionally, according to the report, beef industry productivity has increased at an annual average rate of 0.8% between 1977-78 and 2011-12, underpinning average output growth of 0.5% per annum. Productivity improvement has reportedly been assisted by improved pastures, herd genetics, disease management and branding rates over the period.