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Australian Cattle Council : Yearbook 2009
CA TTLE COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA YEARBOOK 2009 Given the difficult trading conditions experienced by lotfeeders throughout the first three quarters of 2008, grainfed cattle turnoff in 2008 totalled 2.13 million head – down 11% from the previous year (2.4 million head) and 19% below the 2006 record of 2.62 million head. drought hits herd in 2008 The continuation of widespread drought across southern Australia through a seventh year has delayed the expected recommencement of national cattle herd rebuilding by another year. Also, the move away from livestock towards other enterprises in southern Australia, namely cropping and forestry, has been greater than initially anticipated, further impacting on cattle numbers. The divergence in seasonal conditions across Australia throughout 2007-08 resulted in further growth in cattle numbers across northern Australia, while numbers continued to decline across the southern states. Overall, a 4% growth in cattle numbers in Queensland just failed to offset declines across the remaining states, with the national herd for the year ending June 2008 declining 1%, to 27.8 million head. a 15-year low, at 3.9 million head, while widespread drought forced numbers in Tasmania to their lowest level since 1963, at 443,000 head. SA and WA cattle herds declined 3% and 4% during 2007-08, respectively, to 1.2 million head and 2.2 million head. Following a 2% contraction over the previous two years, the Australian cattle herd is forecast to expand 2.8% for the year ending June 2009, to 28.6 million head. Driving the growth is a vast improvement in pasture, fodder and grain availability and a record proportion of female cattle in the herd. a reCord year for aussie beef exports in 2008 Despite a slow start to the year, an appreciating Australian dollar through to July and the onset of the global financial crisis, the volume of Australian beef and veal exports reached a record high in 2008. According to figures released by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, exports for the 2008 calendar year reached 957,479 tonnes – 2% higher than 2007 when 941,400 tonnes were exported and surpassing the previous record high of 953,932 tonnes set in 2006. While Australia’s three largest export markets - Japan, the US and Korea - still made up the bulk of beef exports, a feature of 2008 was a surge in demand from 'second tier' markets such as Russia and South East Asia. Australian Cattle Herd Cattle numbers in NSW for the year ending June 2008 declined 2%, to 5.8 million head, as a wet summer and better conditions across the northern third of the state partially offset further declines across the south. An 8% decline in the Victorian cattle herd saw it decline to Australian Beef Utilisation 2008 = 2.15mt cwt 31 1117_CCA Yearbook 2009.indd 31 5/5/09 8:00:15 PM