Adult cattle slaughter during May declined 3% year-on-year, to 666,000 head, with total beef production also declining 3% over the same period, to 190,395 tonnes cwt.
Despite the year-on-year decline in both slaughter and production, May is traditionally a large production month, with May’s volume the highest so far in 2012 (Australian Bureau of Statistics).
Underpinning the overall decline in adult cattle slaughter was a 3% year-on-year reduction in Queensland, which reached 329,000 head.
Despite falling on last year (highest monthly total in 2011), slaughter in May 2012 increased in comparison to the other months as a result of the higher seasonal turnoff as producers offload stock as winter approaches.
Adult cattle slaughter in NSW (124,500 head) fell 18% year-on-year, while Victorian slaughter (124,400 head) surged 12% year-on-year in May, the highest since March 2010.
Female slaughter continues to track lower than the same time last year, falling 1% year-on-year, to 308,700 head.
Average national carcase weights in May increased slightly on the corresponding month last year, to 286kg/head.
Despite easing 1% year-on-year in May, Queensland average carcase weights hit 300kg/head, with the biggest improvement in carcase weights attributed to NSW, which gained 4% or 11kg/head on last year, to average 285kg/head.
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