by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Australian Cattle Council : Yearbook 2010
14 YEARBOOK 2010 CATTLE COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA Australian beef and cattle industry 2009 IN REVIEW The persistence of drought conditions across much of southern and eastern Australia continued to hinder cattle production and branding rates, while the fallout from the worst financial and economic crisis to hit advanced economies in several decades reduced beef demand in key exports markets, which was further acerbated by the rapid appreciation of the Australian dollar. Australia's production of beef and veal declined in 2009, as the year-on-year contraction in adult cattle turnoff in both autumn and spring, largely influenced by seasonal conditions and previously poor breeding years, reduced total adult slaughter for the year. Beef and veal production for 2009 totalled 2.13 million tonnes carcase weight (cwt) -- back 1.5% on the previous year, while adult cattle slaughter contracted 2.6%, to 7.75 million head (Australian Bureau of Statistics). Adult female cattle slaughter for 2009 declined 1.4% year- on-year, to 3.8 million head, despite a 9% year-on-year increase nationally during the first quarter of the year. The higher female cattle slaughter between January and March was largely due to a surge in turnoff in Victoria, especially of dairy cattle. However, female turnoff contracted significantly in spring, on the back of better seasonal conditions and lower overall herd numbers in southern Australia, with numbers in Victoria back 25% year-on-year. Reflecting the overall lower available supply of male cattle throughout key beef producing regions in 2009, largely due to drought, flooding and previously poor breeding season, adult male cattle slaughter declined 3.7% year- on-year, to 3.94 million head -- the second lowest annual total for the past decade. However, the decline in annual slaughter of adult cattle was partially offset by a rise in average weights, up 0.8% year-on-year, to 270.4kg/head, with averaged weights in Queensland the heaviest, increasing 1% to a record 293kg/head. Australian beef and veal exports for the 2009 calendar year totalled 927,277 tonnes swt -- 3% below the previous year and 1% back on the average for the past five-years (Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry). Contributing to the decline in shipments in 2009 was a contraction in beef production throughout the second half of the year, along with the high A$ and recession conditions in key exports markets. However, in contrast to the tough export arena, beef demand in the domestic market improved in 2009, which saw total beef consumption increase 1.6% year-on-year. The combination of increased consumer demand and higher beef supplies, due to weaker export markets, assisted the increase. The main influencing factor for Australian beef exports in 2009 was the rapid rise of the A$, which combined with the impact of recession, and the fallout from the global financial crisis, constrained returns to Australian exporters from Japan and the US during 2009. However, on a positive note, South East Asia continued to develop as a significant market for Australian beef, underpinned by a record volume of beef to Indonesia. Japan maintained its position as Australia's largest beef export destination in 2009, with shipments for the year back 2% on 2008, at 356,567 tonnes shipped weight (swt). The high A$ created very difficult trading conditions for Australian exporters during the second half of 2009, which was further complicated by recession and deflationary conditions in Japan. Despite Australian shipments to the US increasing 7% in 2009, to 251,479 tonnes swt, exports remained 16% below the average for the past five years, at 299,125 tonnes swt. Again, the high A$ impacted shipments to the US in 2009, with some product diverted to more lucrative markets, while sluggish US consumer demand and a surge in dairy cow slaughter also impacted demand for Australian beef. » 2009 proved to be a very tough year for the Australian cattle industry, with difficult market conditions across both supply and demand factors, which was ultimately reflected in lower average cattle prices. Beef and veal production for 2009 totalled 2.13 million tonnes cwt -- back 1.5% on the previous year, while adult cattle slaughter contracted 2.6%, to 7.75 million head. (Australian Bureau of Statistics)