Female kill rate rises as national herd falls
BULL sales may be affected by the decline in national female numbers, however, until sales begin it is hard to tell what it will mean for stud breeders.
According to the latest Meat and Livestock cattle industry projections update, the national herd is estimated to have declined 7.3 per cent to 26 million head for the year ending June, underpinned by the drought-induced elevated turn-off of the breeding herd, as severe water shortages accelerate the current wave of destocking.
The update said cow and heifer slaughter reached 58 per cent of total adult cattle slaughter for three consecutive months from March to May, as many beef producers destocked or managed significantly depleted breeding herds.
Meat and Livestock Australia senior market analyst Adam Cheetham said three consecutive months of record elevated female slaughter rates had significantly reduced the volume of breeding stock, a factor that would considerably slow the pace of any rebuild once conditions improved.
The Eastern Young Cattle Indicator has been hovering above 500c/kg for the past couple of months and was sitting at 532c/kg late last week — 80c/kg higher than the same time last year.
DOWNTURN: The national herd is estimated to have fallen 7.3 per cent, with producers destocking.