Fe­male kill rate rises as na­tional herd falls

Gatton Star - - INTO RURAL -

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.

PHOTO: ALYSHA SAID

DOWN­TURN: The na­tional herd is es­ti­mated to have fallen 7.3 per cent, with pro­duc­ers de­stock­ing.

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