Beef and veal outlook

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The Australian weighted average sale yard cost of beef cattle predict to drop by 4% in 2012-13 to 315 cents per kilogram (dressed weight). Domestically, demand for restocker cows is anticipated to continue, although at a pace slower compared to the previous two seasons when favourable conditions encouraged producers to expand herds. Herd grabs are now the largest in more than 30 years and supplies of cows suitable for slaughter are forecast to grow about the approaching year.

Lower demand for restocker cattle, in contrast to the preceding two years is anticipated to lead to national cattle herd growth slowing to 2% in 2012-12 to 30.5 million herd. This compares with an estimated growth rate of 5% in 2011-12, when favourable seasonal conditions resulted in substantial pasture growth in several cows producing regions. Producers responded to favourable seasonal conditions by keeping breeding stock and buying restocker cows.

In 2012-13, Australian Cattle slaughter is forecast to increase by 3% to 8.1 million head, underpinning a rise in beef production to around 2.2 million tonnes. After more than two years of herd rebuilding, supplies of cows suitable for slaughter are anticipated to grow.

In 2011-12, Australian cattle slaughter dropped by 3% to 7.9 million head, its lowest since 1985 86. However, Queensland beef and veal production increased by 1% from the preceding year, mainly because of increased slaughter of heavier male cows, which leads to a rise in average carcass weight

Queensland cattle slaughter dropped by 1% in 2011-12 to around 3.6 million head. However, Queensland beef and veal production improved by 1% to 1.05 million tonnes, underpinned by a rise in average carcass weights to 297 kilograms. Queensland accounted for 50% of Australian beef and veal production in 2011-12.

The Volume of Australian beef and veal exports is forecast to grow by 1% in 2012-13 to 9550000 tones (shipped weight). This reflects the Republic of Korea and many smaller markets more than offsetting lower exports to Japan as well as increased exports to america. With the Australian dollar assumed to stay comparatively high in 2012-13, strong competition will probably continue in the standard markets of Japan as well as the Republic of Korea, notably from imported US beef.

In 2011-12, Australian beef and veal exports increased by 1% to 9480000 tonnes (shipped weight). Exports of Queensland created beef increased 3% to 5670000 tonnes (shipped weight). The Biggest exports destinations of Queensland created beef were america, Japan, The Republic of Korea as well as the Russian Federation.

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