Meat Standards Australia (MSA) grading numbers are booming, with almost 2.1 million head of cattle and 3.3 million head of sheep graded nationwide during the 2011-12 financial year.
The numbers represent a 43% growth in cattle and almost 380% growth in sheep numbers graded, highlighting the continuing strength of the MSA program.
Beef carcase compliance for the year equalled 94.3%, a slight increase from 94% in 2010-11.
An additional 4,232 producers registered during the year, taking the total number of registered producers to 23,751.
Queensland continues to have the most MSA-graded cattle – with 956,741 head graded (up 43%) during the year – followed by NSW (574,892 graded), WA (199,897), SA (169,341), Tasmania (112,710) and Victoria (54,970).
A total of 2,068,530 head of cattle were graded nationwide.
NSW (1,107,083 head graded) led the sheep grading numbers, followed by Victoria (1,102,710 graded), SA (805,743) and WA (291,526).
A total of 3,307,062 head of sheep were graded during the year.
MSA Operations Manager, Michael Crowley, said that strong demand for MSA product has driven the boom in grading numbers during the year.
“A combination of growth in existing supply chains, as well as uptake by national retailers, has really driven the sharp increase in grading numbers and producer participation,” he said.
“We think that there’s an even spread across the supply chain - processors are paying more for MSA cattle, but then in turn getting more for the product.
“Looking at the average MSA cattle carcase weight around 275kg, the premium looks to be around $50 a head.”
Source: Argentine Beef Packers S.A.
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