Weekly kill: Industry starts to re-focus after a month of short production, wet weather

Jon Condon, 03/05/2022

Last week’s seven-day slaughter statistics reflected the continuation of the slow production cycle caused by public holidays and recent rain.

Nationally, NLRS reported the weekly kill at just 80,776 head, following two equally poor results the previous two weeks caused by Easter and ANZAC Day.

This current week will be impacted in some states, with Monday’s Labour Day Holiday in Queensland. The following week should see kills restored closer to where they were earlier, around 100,000 head.

Grids show little change

Processor grid offers again started to appear this week, after a number were withdrawn late last month due to adequate supply.

In southern Queensland, grids have picked up where they left off in April, with best offers for heavy grassfed four tooth steer at 775c/kg (780c in one case for HGP-free, or 770c with the pill), and 715-720c/kg for heavy slaughter cow.

Recent rain is still seeing some operators playing catch-up, with some cattle booked earlier only being delivered this week.

Earlier rain, where it fell, may spread some cattle out a little in coming months, two regular contacts told Beef Central this morning, potentially slowing down supply. If BOM’s three-month outlook for above average winter rain across large parts of Australia eventuates (click here to view), it will slow cattle supply down even more than expected, taking some of the urgency out of delivery.

Female kill national continues to operate at, or below 40pc over the past month, suggesting herd rebuilding is still well entrenched.

In southern states, best heavy cows are making 720c/kg this week, with heavy four-tooth PR steers around 790c – not far off Queensland rates. There’s been little or no sign of additional southern processors operating in northern markets to this point – partly because local southern supply is reasonably comfortable at present.

One of the factors behind that is that there are more cattle on feed across Australia now, compared with this time last year, providing a few more for the weekly rosters.

Kills remain slow

Queensland’s kill last week sat at 39,311 head, much the same as the previous two weeks. Comparisons with last year are irrelevant, because Easter last year and the year before fell earlier than in 2022.

The NSW kill recovered a little last week, reaching 22,375 head, after falling well below 19,000 for the previous two weeks. In Victoria, numbers also lifted a little last week to 11,064 head, after two of the quietest weeks since the start of the year.

Tasmania was little changed last week at 3514 head, while South Australia lifted a little to 2570 head, and Western Australia lost a little more ground, processing only 1942 head last week.




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