The average weight of adult cattle slaughtered during November reached a new record high, both nationally and in several states. Adult cattle carcase weights in November averaged 288kg/head, up 4kg/head from the previous month and almost 12kg/head heavier than 12-month earlier, according to data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS),
Driving the national increase for the month was record average weights in NSW (282.4kg/head), Victoria (270.3kg/head) and SA (288.8kg/head), while weights in Queensland averaged 300.9kg/head - the third highest monthly average. The vastly improved season across the eastern states in 2010 was the main contributor to the jump in weights, as producers retained cattle to capitalise on abundant feed supplies.
Also contributing to the increase in weights throughout November was the disruption caused to transport and mustering due to rain, which constrained the ability of producers to get cattle to markets.
Given the jump in weights and 10% increase in slaughter for November, beef production for the month increased 14% year-on-year, to 191,652 tonnes swt - the highest monthly total since 2008. Adult cattle slaughter for November reached 665,000 head, with only SA and Tasmania recording year-on-year declines.
For January to November, total beef and veal production was up 1% on the same period in 2009, at 1.98 million tonnes cwt, with average weights up 2%, or 5.9kg/head, to 277.3kg/head.
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