News

Grainfed cattle numbers fall

Beef Central, 25/11/2013

Results from the latest ALFA/ MLA quarterly feedlot survey showed a 19 percent fall in cattle numbers on feed to 787,000 head.

Australian Lot Feeders’ Association (ALFA) President Don Mackay commented that the September quarterly survey results were predominantly driven by a rise in feeder cattle and grain prices.

“The yearling steer (C2 330-400 kg lwt) category averaged 179¢/kg lwt, up 8% from the June quarter as the demand for good quality feeder cattle outstripped supply”.

“The proliferation of drought affected cattle into south east Queensland feedlots remained strong for most of the quarter but tailed off towards the end of September when the survey was undertaken”.

“Feed grain prices similarly increased over the quarter with Darling Downs barley, sorghum and wheat increasing by 1%, 6% and 4% respectively”.

“The highest numerical quarterly decline in cattle numbers on feed was experienced in Queensland (19pc) followed by NSW (16pc), WA (44pc), Vic (11pc) and SA (25pc).”

Meat & Livestock Australia’s Beef Market Analyst, Ben Thomas stated that grainfed beef exports totalled 54,876 tonnes swt for the quarter, up 8pc on last year – taking the January-to-September export volume to 151,075 tonnes swt, up 9pc year-on-year.”

“Reductions in exports to Japan were again offset by greater shipments to the EU, China and the Middle East.”

“Grain fed beef shipments to Japan declined 12% year-on-year, with the January-to-September period totalling 87,157 tonnes swt, back 7pc on year-ago levels.”

“Grain fed beef exports to Korea were steady with last year’s levels, taking the January-to- September volume to 21,815 tonnes swt, up 3pc year-on-year”.

The January-to-September grain fed beef shipments to developing markets increased significantly, with China (13,059 tonnes swt) up more than eight-fold, while volumes to the EU (8,273 tonnes swt) and the Middle East (7,593 tonnes swt) rose 107pc and 100pc, year-on-year, respectively.”

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